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.Wiltaa- Merle. 

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Copyright, 1001, 
By E. H. Johnson 

John Wilson and Son, Cambridge, U.S.A. 


The Reverend 

IPresttient of Crojer Efjcologiral .Semtnara 







IT may hardly seem true, but the highest 
theme of practical Christianity does not 
necessarily involve any issue between rival 
theologies. This book accordingly has not 
been written in the interest of any theology 
from the most conservative to the most pro- 
gressive. It takes for granted that Christian- 
ity affords its own ideal of living, that the reader 
would be willing to follow a discreet inquiry as 
to that ideal, and is wide-minded enough both 
to notice without contempt the mistakes of 
good people on this matter, and to accept with 
alacrity whatever they may know and can 

And so the aim of these pages is not contro- 
versial. Certain doctrines are indeed reviewed 
which one after another have cut something of 
a figure, and then slowly withdrawn from gen- 
eral notice. But these are mentioned for the 
sake of having the whole case before us, and 


particularly on account of cheering facts in 
their history. One such fact is, that, so far as 
the <]:reat mass of Christian folk is concerned, 
the failure of these doctrines to meet with gen- 
eral agreement is shutting us up to a narrow 
range of disagreement about ideals of the 
Christian life. Another fact is that each ideal 
has been a step in advance of its predecessor. 
The last fact is, that, so far from being alto- 
gether a failure, each and every exposition of 
the matter has given prominence to some ele- 
ment in the case which must be included in 
any final tenet. It would be a reversal of all 
history if devout souls had utterly thrown away 
their pains, and had reached entirely wrong 
conclusions about the best living. It is but 
fair to add that the leading doctrines on this 
subject have been accompanied, in some at 
least of their advocates, by graces of character, 
and even of manners, so winning as to prove a 
far more persuasive recommendation than all 

So, then, the story of untenable opinions 
looks towards an unity of conviction without 
regard to sect, which in its turn will strengthen, 


we may hope, aspiration for the best that Chris- 
tianity can do for us. The present aim is to 
make plain, through an historical sketch and 
an exposition of views congruous with the 
spirit of our age, that we may now agree, to 
larger extent than is popularly supposed, as to 
what is the Highest Life, and may in some 
measure secure mutual support in the struggle 
toward it. 

Crozer Theological Seminary, 
February, 1901. 



Section I. Hindrances and Helps 3 

n. Sinless Perfection 9 

The Oberlin Doctrine 14 

in. The Higher Life 20 

IV. The Shifted Selfhood 31 

V. The Keswick Movement 40 


Section I. In Outline 65 

II. The Moral Aspect 70 

III. The Religious Aspect 82 

IV. The Socul Aspect 92 


Section I. Private Paths loi 

II. Public Highways 117 

III. The Issue's Issue 131 

The Paradox Resolved .... 162 


Limited Promises 173 

INDEX 181 




Section I. — Hindrances and Helps 

WHAT is the Highest Life ? is a ques- 
tion to which no answer has been 
agreed upon. We are still farther 
from agreement as to how it may be attained. 
It crowns all that God does for us; but the 
work of the Spirit of God in man is more in 
need of study than any other matter of like 
importance. The study faces a singular com- 
plex of hindrance and help. It is hindered by 
the impossibility of bringing God under obser- 
vation. He is not before the senses, and he is 
not within our inner consciousness. It should 
need only to be mentioned that we have no 
consciousness of two persons within our breast. 
It is our own spirit that thinks, loves, trusts, 
adores, resolves, in a word, does all of which 
we are inly aware. And so the door is wide 
open to conjecture, but closed to inspection. 


The almost oddly contrasted help is that, 
while we cannot see God at work, we can see 
his works. " The fruits of the Spirit " all men 
know. They are abundant and characteristic ; 
not, to be sure, so characteristic as to remove 
at once every doubt as to the source of what 
goes on within us, but still characteristic 
enough, upon the whole, to be in impressive 
contrast with the doings of a bad spirit, human 
or, if you will, satanic. 

This is an advantage hardly shared to the 
same extent by any other Christian doctrine. 
In the long run, it is true, all religious doctrines 
are either recommended or discredited by ex- 
perience, but no other so promptly as this one. 
Somebody puts forward a new idea of the High- 
est Life, or how it is to be reached ; and at once 
people in plenty are eager to test the new idea. 
The rest of us look on to see how it works. And 
so, when the result is disappointing, when ex- 
perience seems to have refuted the latest theory, 
that theory is cast aside not by the decree of a 
few conservative and timid scholars, but by the 
general verdict of ordinary Christians. 

The concurrence of majorities in this matter, 
however, is hardly to be looked upon as an un- 


mixed good. One frequent result is not less 
than a disaster. A widespread revulsion of 
feeling follows when any widely advertised 
scheme of spiritual betterment fails. And this 
revulsion is not against the rejected plan alone, 
but against all endeavor for the uplift of Chris- 
tian living. Discouragement and indifference 
settle like a fog-bank on the face of the sea. 
Nothing is in sight to sail from or sail to, 
to seek or to avoid. What is more dreadful in 
spiritual affairs than apathy ? How is it in the 
churches to-day ? Is there at this moment any 
prevailing view about the improvement of 
Christian living which could be used to wake 
up and keep alive the general interest ? The 
ordinary view is simple enough. It is that we 
ought to be good, and that, if we pray to be 
good and try to be good, God will no doubt 
help us to become better. But it would be 
hard to mould into persuasive appeals material 
as colorless as this. 

Nevertheless, unmistakabk-as^isthe disregard 
for higher Christian ideals, and unmistakably 
due as this disregard in large part is to failure of 
the programmes for realizing those ideals, some 
compensation may still be found in the fact 


that the schemes which have once openly 
failed will hardly win much attention again. 
They leave the field clear for other claimants, 
and other claimants are pushing their advan- 
tage. So the matter stands to-day. 

But in all the thoughts and plans for the 
Highest Life which have been in turn the 
objects of assured faith, of glowing hope, of 
absorbed effort, and of delight all but delirious 
for the few, yet which have proved a disap- 
pointment to the vast and formless multitude, 
the multitude which is so quick to respond but 
so slowly convinced, so nimble to sympathize 
but so inert to obey, in all these plans and 
ideas is there nothing at all for us of positive 
instruction, of clear, clean gain ? Can we 
gather no fruitage except discouragement from 
all this earnest coveting of the best gifts, this 
enthusiastic striving to be ourselves to our 
generation the best gift ? Is there no thought 
upon the matter to which all good Christians 
will assent, and which at the same time is 
potent for the uplift of them all ? We can see 
clearly what shining but delusive pyrites crys- 
tals have been dug up with pains and ex- 
hibited with joy; but has not all this absorbed 


and toilsome mining left with us some golden 
bequest of "durable riches and righteousness"? 
The story of it all may tell. 

One caution is needed in entering upon this 
subject ; for we are exposed to a subtle mis- 
take both as to the highest life and the 
measures for reaching it. Such a life is so 
superior to the ordinary Christian life in what 
it gives up and in what it takes on, in the 
reversal of likings and transformation of dis- 
position, so ineffably superior in its intimacy 
with God and its help from God, as apparently 
to involve on His part a disregard of man's 
nature and even violence to its laws. In any 
other matter such a misunderstanding would 
be grotesque. A lately wedded pair, friends 
of mine, were showing me the equipments of 
their new home, and among these a tastefully 
inlaid sideboard, made by the bride's own 
hands. Surprised at this mechanical skill in 
a young woman, I asked how she could do so 
elaborate a piece of man's work; and for 
answer they threw open a tool-closet. Was 
this an answer ? I saw the shining array of 
tools ; but could the fair wood-carver be satis- 


fied to use any tool her hand might chance to 
light upon ? Would she try to smooth boards 
with a saw, or halve them with a plane ? I 
might be certain that so dainty a bit of cabinet- 
work was achieved only by using tools after 
their sort. 

To use a tool against its make would be 
absurd ; to use a man against his nature would 
be wrong. It is at bottom the only wrong; 
and the only right is to act according to 
nature. I mean, of course, the typical nature ; 
a nick in a plane's knife spoils it as a standard 
for planes. The highest life of the spirit 
comes under a rule as physiological, if we may 
so term it. All the mistaken theories have 
lost sight of something suitable to man as 
man, and experience could not but show a 
bad fruitage of those theories. Let us agree 
to be on our guard, from beginning to end of 
this inquiry, against non-natural rules for the 
Highest Life. Otherwise our inquiry cannot 
so much as make a fair start. 

Section II. — Sinless Perfection 

A CENTURY and a half ago the high- 
est life was enthusiastically preached 
as a state of "deHverance from all 
sin." Freedom from outward offence and in- 
ward defilement was said to be quite within 
reach. Of course such a claim started a dis- 
pute ; but for a full hundred years Sinless Per- 
fection was what would be thought of if entire 
sanctification was urged. Within the last fifty 
years other ways of thinking, on the part of 
those who have this matter at heart, have 
drawn to themselves more general notice. The 
elder notion has by no means been given up, 
but it no longer fills the public eye ; and now 
at length, outside of what seem narrowing 
circles, little show is made by the once zeal- 
ously presented idea of Sinless Perfection. 
This is not because it has been refuted from 
Scripture, but because to most persons it has 
not seemed to be warranted by experience. 


The doctrine has, indeed, been stoutly at- 
tacked and defended on scriptural grounds, 
but without a decisive victory for either side. 
As matter of fact there is no passage in the 
New Testament which declares sinlessness 
possible, and none which pronounces it im- 
possible. Passages in plenty can be cited 
from which one or the other doctrine is 
inferred ; but none is evidently meant to state 
either of these opposites. Explanation enough 
is that just this matter did not come up for 
consideration in New Testament times. The 
question for those times was whether he that 
used to steal could be kept from stealing any 
more ; whether the seasoned liar would hence- 
forth tell the truth ; whether the foul mouth 
would become clean, the unchaste life be pure, 
the contentious and domineering learn to live 
in peace. Or, if the very teachings of Chris- 
tianity seemed to invite mischief, then John 
might have something emphatic to say about 
those who let their bodies go on sinning while 
their enlightened spirits claim to be sinless ; 
Paul would have to explain that God's free 
grace did not leave the believer free to disobey 
God ; and James would be shocked that a 


pretence to true faith was set up by any one 
whose faith was unfruitful. But at bottom 
these are the same answer to allied forms of 
the same problem. The problem was to show 
how holy living was implied, according to 
Paul, in divine remission of sins ; according 
to John, in divine renewal of the heart ; ac- 
cording to James, in faith which " works 
patience" and secures every gift from Him 
"who giveth liberally and upbraideth not." 
But the existence at that time of a problem 
which must now seem so anomalous, means 
that a venomous error about "freedom from 
law " had already begun to lift its head. It 
was a strangely persistent error, fastening 
upon the gospel like a parasite in its natural 
home. Somewhat later than the traditional 
date of these New Testament writings, in 
union with other fantastic speculations, it 
was known as gnosticism. But the early rise 
of this error does not in the least imply that 
true-hearted Christians were busied with the 
present-day problem, what the highest life is, 
or whether it is possible to be entirely free 
from sin. 

Neither party to the modern controversy 


will be ready to admit that he has no Scripture 
on his side. The perfectionist will insist that 
Jesus said " Be perfect," and that Peter had it, 
"Be holy, for the Lord your God is holy." 
This is to state the ideal; but does it follow 
that the ideal in those days was the actual, or 
that in any day what a good man would like 
to be does not keep ahead of what he makes 
out to be ? And so, when Paul wrote to the 
Roman Christians, one and all, that " being 
made free from sin they became servants of 
righteousness," is he out and out telling them 
that, without distinction, they had attained to 
sinlessness ? If, then, the anti-perfectionist, on 
the other hand, is ready with Paul's disclaimer 
of being " already perfect," or if he lets fly 
John's fierce denial that there was any truth 
in the man who said he had no sin, why, then, 
we ouQ-ht to bear in mind that neither Paul 
nor John said that men cannot be sinless, but 
only that they are not so. Is not is not the 
same as cannot be ; the impossible is decidedly 
to be distinguished from the impracticable. 
This must be insisted on with those who are 
bent on settling the theoretical issue whether 
sinlessness is possible on earth. What Paul 


and John would say to such a possibiHty we 
can only guess. We know that they said 
nothing about it which has survived, and gave 
no hint that the matter was even considered 
in their day. 

But while the Scriptures have been silent, 
experience has been vocal ; and the testimony 
of experience has not convinced the great 
mass of Protestants that sinless perfection is 
attained by those who lay claim to it. Not 
to make too fine a point, if there are any 
claimaints whose claim stands undisputed, 
these are few, are far removed from the per- 
sonal acquaintance of most of us, and for this 
reason at any rate are unable to create and 
keep alive a general belief in their perfections. 
Perfectionism, therefore, is not any longer so 
much disputed as disregarded ; and the dis- 
regard is in large part due to a diversion of 
interest toward other doctrines which promise 
the benefits, while claiming to be exempt from 
the objections, connected with the earlier view. 
The very name of Sinless Perfection has been 
for the most part dropped in favor of the 
name Christian Perfection. This latter does 


not renounce the claim to sinlessness, but 
docs not push it to the front. Perfect love 
and perfect faith are held, as they were a 
century ago, to constitute " evangelical obedi- 
ence," not to the exclusion of infirmities, but 
to the exclusion of sins, not to prevention of 
fault, but to exemption from blame. Now 
when " evangelical obedience " is emphasized 
as equivalent to deliverance from sin, the 
renunciation of the word "sinless" does not 
make the doctrine materially different fi-om 
the earlier doctrine ; but when doubt is felt 
about such an equivalence, the doctrine merges 
into a later opinion about holiness and " The 
Higher Life." Opinions of this class will 
presently be noticed. 


We cannot afford to pass unnoticed a phase 
of doctrine now almost forgotten, which once 
created a great stir and had the most singular 
history of all. The facts concerning the Ober- 
lin perfectionism are obtained for the most 
part from the late President Fairchild s pam- 
phlet history of this episode. Quotations, unless 


otherwise credited, are from his pen. It fell to 
Rev. Asa Mahan, the first President of Oberlin 
College, an institution especially famed in its 
early days for antislavery zeal, to formulate and 
publish the views taught there concerning sin- 
less perfection, as distinguished from absolute 
holiness or the immeasurable devotion of an- 
gels. But the professor of theology, the subse- 
quent president, Rev. Charles G. Finney, had 
been an evangelist of extraordinary power over 
educated men, and soon became the real expo- 
nent of Oberlin theology. His views, to begin 
with, parted company with Wesley's at a point 
quite starthng on the part of a Calvinist. Wes- 
ley taught that men's ability to accept Christ 
was due to the gracious impartation of the 
Holy Spirit to all men ; but Dr. Finney in- 
sisted, as though he were a thorough-paced 
Pelagian, and far as possible from Calvinism, 
that all men are by nature able to obey God's 
law; indeed, that sheer justice would require 
God to let down his law to such ability as men 
have. This element in Dr. Finney's doctrine 
was thrown into unintended prominence by an 
occurrence without parallel, so far as I know, 
in the history of theological schools. Two 


young men who had graduated at the college 
two years earlier, Thomas and William Coch- 
ran, came back in 1841 with a new doctrine. 
William read and published a paper on " Sim- 
plicity of Moral Action." It won over practi- 
cally the entire faculty, with the possible 
exception of Professor Cowles, and " from that 
day it became a feature of the Oberlin theology." 
For once a modern theologue might take up 
the boast of a fellow-student in far away times, 
and chant what no doubt a plenty of students 
have thought, " I have more understanding than 
all my teachers." 

The doctrine of Simplicity of Moral Ac- 
tion maintained " the impossibility of a divided 
heart in moral action." That is, when the will 
decides, it has decided for either unmixed right 
or unmixed wrong. At that instant a man is 
wholly a sinner or wholly a saint. " The sin- 
ner, in his sin, is utterly destitute of righteous- 
ness, and the good man, in his obedience, is 
completely, entirely obedient." Right and 
wrong attach only to acts of will, it was held, 
including voluntary states. Conclusions follow 
which the rigorous logic of Dr. Finney did not 
refuse, but which were sufficiently startling to 


his brethren. The new birth, which is usually 
ascribed to the Holy Spirit, must, he said, be 
the same as conversion, or the heart's own 
turning to God. Dr. Finney afterward said, 
" Instead of telling sinners to pray for a new 
heart, I called on them to make themselves a 
new heart." Since a man is altogether one 
thing or the other, he remains a Christian only 
so long as he remains without sin. When he 
sins, he lapses into the state into which he was 
born of the flesh ; and when he repents, he 
enters once more the state into which he was 
born of the Spirit. And so the ordinary dis- 
ciple is making and unmaking his regeneration 
as rapidly as he sins and repents. But another 
consequence was that complete sanctification 
was involved in regeneration. So long as a man 
is regenerate, so long is he perfectly sinless. 

It should surprise no one that a constant 
oscillation between states described as entire 
enmity to God and entire loyalty to him must 
either be extremely agitating, or else escape 
emotional extravagance only by belittling the 
alleged transformations through becoming in- 
ured to them. Both results followed. In this 
case as in other cases experience proved a plain- 


speaking teacher, and her teachings got them- 
selves accepted, as in the end they always do. 
At Oberlin *' there came to be less confidence 
in the style of Christian culture involving a 
special experience. ... It became more and 
more a matter of doubt whether the seeking 
of sanctification as a special experience was on 
the whole to be encouraged, and it was not in 
general an occasion of satisfaction when a 
young man gave himself to seeking ' the bless- 
ing ; ' and when he obtained the thing he 
sought, there came to be less confidence that 
he had made substantial progress. It was not 
found that such experiences were always asso- 
ciated with the most stable and symmetrical 
character. Indeed, if I have rightly observed, 
it came at length to be the fact, more than at 
first, that persons of less balanced character 
were more likely to share in the special expe- 
rience. It soon appeared too that persons who 
had not partaken of the peculiar experience, in 
its intense forms, were just as earnest and 
effective Christian w^orkers in the different de- 
partments of Christian labor as. those who were 
supposed to be especially favored." To this 
Dr. Fairchild adds that physical health often 


suffered from " too great intensity of emo- 
tion. ... In some cases a lifelong detriment 
was the result." Then came the second result; 
the change itself was virtually belittled. " The 
feeling at length began to prevail that the idea 
of a special sanctification induced a religious 
culture that was too subjective and introspec- 
tive, and that it was more wholesome to take 
the believer out of himself and away from this 
direct emotional self-culture to the great objects 
of his faith, the grand facts and truths of the 
gospel out of which salvation springs. Thus 
the interest in the movement as to these special 
forms of experience gradually subsided." And 
now Dr. G. N. Boardman can state in his " His- 
tory of New England Theology," " both advo- 
cacy of, and opposition to, the system died 
away many years ago. Whether it is still main- 
tained by any one is hardly a matter of inquiry." 
The Oberlin Perfectionism passed out of mind 
not because theoretically refuted, but because 
practically invalidated. After experience has 
announced her verdict against a notion, people 
care very little whether it is confuted in theory 
or not. 


Section III. — The Higher Life 

ERFECTIONISM is a dogma of Ro- 
man Catholics and Wesleyans. One of 
its zealous advocates calls it " the great 
distinguishing doctrine of Methodism." It has 
been held under peculiar forms or for peculiar 
reasons by some minor sects and parties in 
sects ; otherwise it has prevailed only with ad- 
vocates of freedom in the human will, as dis- 
tinguished from divine election. But about 
forty years ago a doctrine of " The Higher 
Life " began to take form and spread some- 
what among Calvinists. It differed at first 
from perfectionism hardly otherwise than by 
renouncing the claim to freedom from all sin, 
and setting up a claim to freedom from all 
known sin. By and by even this claim was 
softened by leading representatives ipto that 
of " entire consecration ; " and in the end the 
doctrine of the Higher Life figured as little 
more than a strongly emphasized doctrine of 
*' Christian assurance ; " that is, of confidence 


and complacency as to one's relations to the 
Most High. 

It was held that, to begin with, all obstacles 
to God's especial favor must be removed by a 
special act of submission ; that a special act of 
faith must follow; that this would be responded 
to by a special gift of the Holy Spirit, which 
in turn would lift the believer into a special 
state as distinct from his earlier regenerate 
state as this had been from his state before 
regeneration. In brief, the Higher Life w^as 
held to be a special state reached by a special 
process. [In this new state all responsibility 
for keeping the soul from sin was rolled upon 
Christ, while the advanced Christian, sure of 
his acceptance and sure of himself, rested in a 
measureless peace, and was filled with a super- 
nal joy which he could no longer fear would be 
" followed by depression and darkness." This 
state was sometimes called " the rest of faith," 
" full assurance," or, in common with more 
or less differing views, "the second blessing," 
" the baptism of the Holy Spirit," and by like 
graphic names. 

Graver minds have always thought lightly 
of the Higher Life. Not even enthusiasm was 


widely enlisted in its favor. The evidence for 
it shows noteworthy peculiarities. As most 
Bible students see the case, the Book contains 
no evidence for an additional transformation 
of the believer which is like an additional new 
birth ; that is, puts him in a class apart from 
other Christians. But experience certainly ap- 
peared to supply the proof which the Bible 
withheld. There are saintly persons who do 
not claim to be free from all sin, yet who may 
be easily regarded as free from all open and 
known sin. The number is not insignificant 
of those who in deepest purpose are conse- 
crated to the will of God, as there is no evi- 
dence and no claim that their brethren in the 
church are consecrated. We hear also ex- 
pressions of remarkable trust in Christ and 
delight in his love which are too evidently 
sincere and too intelligent to be doubted. 
When these favored persons assure us that 
the privileges they enjoy were granted in an- 
swer to special prayer, and came like a sudden 
light from heaven, that since then they can 
hardly feel themselves to be the same beings, 
and surely are not pining on the same barrens, 
nor shivering under the forbidding views of 


God amidst which their earlier Christian life 
was passed, it is then easy to understand how 
they have come to believe that their inner life 
was uplifted by sheer force of a "second bless- 
ing " into a sphere which no man can enter 
except by the same means. It may easily seem 
to them ungrateful and even graceless to ac- 
count for their state as the mere outgrowth 
of a disciple's common privileges, the sheer 
unfolding in full of a spiritual enduement 
which had been received at the new birth. 
And so, as matter of fact, the doctrine of the 
higher life is an interpretation of experience 
rather than of the Bible. This I take to be 
a perfectly fair, as it surely is a not unsym- 
pathetic statement of the case. 

But that doctrine is now almost forgotten 
in the regions where it once was rife. It had 
a history only about one-third as long as 
that of Protestant perfectionism. The briefness 
of its history illustrates the singular but in- 
dubitable fact that in religion the higher the 
claims, the stronger the confidence. This un- 
mistakably different place in public regard is 
also to be accounted for in part by the fact 


that the perfectionist doctrine was formally in- 
dorsed by the most powerful Protestant body 
in Christendom, while the Higher Life scheme 
sprang up among its natural foes; but the 
briefness of its history is chiefly to be ex- 
plained, as I think, by the fact that the real 
support of the Higher Life view was in expe- 
rience alone ; and experience, as most Chris- 
tians understood the matter, soon refused its 
support. This support seemed to be wanting 
at almost every point. The very attempt at 
moderation — namely, the claim to be exempt 
from known sin only — drew a sharp line be- 
tween its professors and the familiar heroes 
of the faith ; because the popular saints, so far 
from regarding themselves as free from in- 
wrought sin, are often peculiarly alive to the 
treachery of their own hearts. Paul is here 
the type of Protestant Christianity. He seems, 
indeed, quite a modern campaigner. For him 
there is no " rest of faith." He has peace with 
God, and " the law of the Spirit of life in 
Christ Jesus has set him free from the law of 
sin and death ; " yet he does not even know 
what to pray for as he ought, and the Spirit 
in him groans its unutterable prayers for him. 


He runs, he wrestles, he buffets his body. 
His attainments, what are they to him ? He 
turns his back on them and then forgets them. 
He reaches forth to things still before; he 
presses toward the mark. Though God him- 
self is working in him to will and to do, 
this to Paul is reason for working out his own 
salvation, and for fear and trembling lest he 
thwart such a co-worker. It is only when the 
time of his departure is at hand, when his 
fight has been fought, his course finished, his 
faith kept, that Paul's spirit seems at rest and 
" leaves the whole responsibility with Jesus ; " 
persuaded that what is thus committed will be 
" kept against that day." Paul was strenuous, 
not reposeful ; and to the modern spirit any 
essentially different type of inner life seems 
wanting in thoroughness or even in reality. 
Not that we are without rest, nor yet that our 
rest is a truce from battle; but that, while the 
battle rages, we rest in steadfast assurance 
of coming off conquerors through him who 
loved us. 

The peace and joy of the higher life which, 
it was said, were never to be shaken, have 
seemed to many lookers-on especially insecure. 


Wesley is said to have lamented as to the 
earlier type of perfectionism that " not one in 
thirty retained the blessing." But, worse still, 
the hardly concealed, often openly avowed 
motive to the Higher Life was escape from the 
annoyance of struggle with temptation. Com- 
fortableness was always likely to be the real 
inducement ; and to commonplace Christians 
it has seemed out of keeping with our re- 
ligion's high aims to teach that any state of 
the sensibilities, any delight, however intense, 
any peace of mind, however placid, was worthy 
to be regarded as the utmost and the best 
which the Spirit of God can do for spirituality. 
In fact, some who were deeply impressed by 
the pretensions of the Higher Life, quite taken 
captive by its offers, and who acknowledge 
that they owe to it a sense of God's nearness 
which the lapse of a score of years has but 
confirmed, early learned to look upon the 
story of its ecstatic delights as but an invita- 
tion to self-seeking, a kind of spiritual luxuri- 
ousness which exposed its devotees to strong 
and gross temptations. 

But, most important of all, experience, in the 
common opinion, has seemed to settle it that 


the Higher Life brotherhood was not veritably 
raised by an especial act of the Holy Spirit 
into a state shared by no other believers. 
They thought they were a class apart, because 
they thought they were now so different from 
what they themselves had been. This con- 
clusion was natural, but it could not help 
discrediting them with other Christians. They 
could not show evidence for it satisfactory to 
many besides themselves. The New Testa- 
ment does not, to say the least, unequivocally 
declare for it, I think does not even hint at 
it; and what was there which looked as though 
they were as different in sort from their 
brethren as robins are from blackbirds, or 
oxen from camels ? 

Graver perils were feared from this feature 
of their doctrine than from any other. Special 
prerogatives were claimed for the special state. 
These prerogatives were both Godward and 
manward. Godward the pre-eminent preroga- 
tive was prevalence in prayer. But we are not 
taught that only exalted piety can make sure 
of an answer. To appeal in the name of Jesus 
is enough. To be no better than Elijah, "a 
man of like passions with ourselves," is 


enough. Peter went so far as to say that for 
husbands to give honor to their wives was one 
way to avoid having our " prayers hindered." 
It is a fair question whether, if God does 
not give good gifts because he Hkes to, the 
exalted goodness of any man can compel God. 
Really, this eminent prerogative of getting 
prayers answered exalts the goodness of a man 
above that of his Maker, or even turns prayer 
into a magician's incantation. 

Other Christians might be scandalized at 
such a claim ; they were certain to feel an- 
noyed, if not amused, at the claim of a curious 
manward prerogative. The possessors of the 
Higher Life quietly assumed that the grace 
which made them eminent in holiness also 
made them pre-eminently wise. Why not ? Is 
it not a little thing to expect that the special 
favor which kept them from sin should keep 
them also from blunders ? Mortal man cannot 
think himself next door to perfection without 
looking to have his judgment accepted as next 
to infallible. But what with its claims of 
power with God and authority with man the 
Higher Life pretension threatened mischief 
among the simple-hearted. In Germany it 


bade fair to renew among Baptists, as I was 
informed twenty years ago by one of their 
trustiest pastors, the fanaticisms and excesses 
practised by disorderly Anabaptists during the 
Reformation period. It was just this preten- 
sion to a spiritual elevation to be reached only 
by a special process which led the devout 
Spurgeon to protest that, while it was the 
privilege of every believer to enjoy peace of 
mind, the Higher Life claim was a pernicious 
mistake. Indeed, it was a familiar remark 
among pastors in the day when this propa- 
ganda was rife, that no one could attain the 
Higher Life and escape making mischief. So 
permanent became this impression that it is 
not unusual to hear leaders at Northfield like 
the Rev. Campbell Morgan declare that they 
know nothing of a "second blessing," or a 
third, or a thirtieth, but only that the Holy 
Spirit leads the soul through great crises to 
great attainments. And the sagacious Moody, 
who could use zealous workers without com- 
mitting himself to their theories, would remark 
that the nearer men are to being sinless, the 
less they talk about it. 

Now these inferences from experience 


against the Higher Life may seem unfair; 
but the point is that they were generally 
drawn, and have so narrowed the vogue of 
this doctrine that, where it was once familiar, 
few advocates of it are left. Yet the doctrine 
was not fruitless of good. As the elder perfec- 
tionists emphasized the supreme obligation to 
avoid sin, so the Higher Life adherents pro- 
claimed the privilege of serene and un- 
wavering peace. The proclamation may have 
provoked dissent by its method, — that is, by 
putting on God once for all the responsibility 
for one's own future fidelity; but not even 
what seemed to most minds a fatuous and 
un-Pauline attempt to secure a quiet mind by a 
tour de force of faith could estop some who 
had tried it from henceforth confiding in their 
Master as their Keeper. And so, as the be- 
quest of perfectionism is obedience vitalized by 
emotion, that of the Higher Life is spiritual 
serenity upheld by faith. 

Section IV. — The Shifted Selfhood 

THE importance of Plymouth Brethren 
among English and American Pro- 
testants is paralleled only by the place 
which Unitarians hold. Unitarianism is often 
said by its adherents to be " a way of think- 
ing." The phrase is felicitously descriptive. 
As organized in parishes, Unitarianism is 
weak; as a dogma indicated by its name, it 
is still an enemy amidst its enemies; but as a 
spirit and a method of dealing with religion, 
Unitarianism is wide-spread and powerful. 
Quite at the opposite pole in ideas, method, 
and spirit, so removed also in the class of 
minds affected that either denomination might 
almost be unaware of the other's existence, 
Plymouth Brethrenism is like Unitarianism 
in its meagreness as an organization and in 
its potency as an influence. This influence is 
achieved in both cases through the agency of 
the press. Unitarianism is largely dominant 
in literature, Brethrenism in popular commen- 
taries on the Bible. And so, while the one 


finds persuasive voice in polite letters and sage 
newspapers, the other quietly orders the mes- 
sage of many an "evangelist." 

Singularly enough, if the evangelists let the 
bent which they receive from Plymouth Breth- 
ren prevail, it would set them in utter antago- 
nism to ideas concerning the spiritual life 
equally dear, which they owe to perfectionists. 
Now and then this incompatibility asserts itself 
in unsparing condemnation of one side by the 
other. To a consistent Plymouth Brother, the 
typical perfectionism is a sentimental delusion; 
to a typical perfectionist, Brethrenism is baldly 
juridical and repellently cold. To the one the 
Christian life at its best is a logically balanced, 
logically imputed, and logically proved transac- 
tion of Christ in behalf of the elect; to the 
other it is a felt indwelling of the Holy Spirit 
in a self-surrendered heart. All the old issues 
between Calvinists and anti-Calvinists are in- 
volved, as well as the instinctively opposed 
types of intellectual and emotional piety. As 
to matters with w^iich these pages are busied, 
the Plymouth Brother's hand is characteristi- 
cally against every man, and every man's hand 
against him. 


Plymouth Brethren owe their name to the 
country folk in the neighborhood of Plymouth, 
England, from which place the Brethren were 
accustomed to make preaching excursions; but 
the movement had started about the year 1827 
in Ireland as the fruit of study concerning the 
Second Advent. It was conceived that, since 
the church is properly spiritual, it had aposta- 
tized as long ago as apostolic times in accept- 
ing official ministers as virtually mediators 
between God and man. In teaching that the 
Holy Spirit is the sufficient guide of every 
believer, and alone has a right to preside when 
believers meet, the Plymouth Brethren natur- 
ally disturbed existing organizations, and the 
disturbing influence radiated from their doc- 
trines about the Holy Spirit. 

Their attitude as to the highest life was 
fixed by that taken as to the new birth. The 
Plymouth Brother holds that every child of 
God has two distinct natures, the old and the 
new. The new nature is produced by regener- 
ation not out of, but in addition to, the old. 
Statements like these are nowhere unfamiliar 
in the freedom of colloquial speech ; but the 
specialties of the Brethren's doctrine are two : 



first, the new nature is not merely a new 
disposition, but is a new entity, and the real 
self, the old nature, is another entity which was 
once the self and still exists, but is the self 
no longer. Secondly, the new nature is sinless 
and insusceptible of betterment, except in the 
way of growth by "feeding on the Word;" 
whereas the old nature is irredeemably bad, 
and must be destroyed at death, or at the 
Lord's second coming. Whatever the bad old 
self does, the new self, which is the real self, 
does no wrong. 

A not inconsiderable array of Scriptures is 
claimed for this startling view; for instance, 
John's saying that " whosoever is born of God 
doth not commit sin ; . . . and he cannot sin, 
because he is born of God ; " or Paul's words, 
" I no longer live, but Christ liveth in me." 
John, to be sure, also plumply notifies the man 
who says no sin is in him, that no truth is in 
him ; and Paul certifies us that he never relaxes 
his own struggle against sin. In whatever 
manner these paradoxes are to be resolved, two 
points of present moment are clear: John and 
Paul were highly imaginative and even hyper- 
bolical writers, while the Plymouth Brethren 


are singularly unimaginative, therefore un- 
sympathetic and unsafe interpreters of imagi- 
native writings ; ^ secondly, experience has 
rendered her calm, relentless verdict against 
the Plymouth notion of the highest life. 

The very theory of the Brethren was so 
startling that its success in practice could be 
looked for only by themselves. If by the exist- 
ence in us of two natures they had meant no 
more than others mean when resorting to these 
picturesque terms, — namely, that every faithful 
disciple finds loyalty to God confronted in him 
by ineradicable proclivities to evil, — the distinc- 
tion would have been as sober-minded as it is 
momentous ; but when they insist that selfhood 
is shifted from the " old man " to the " new 
man," that the one persists in unqualified bad- 
ness, while the other abides in irreproachable 
goodness, they defy the very beginnings of 
knowledge about men. People in general do 
not find it possible to hold that the familiar 
self can be stripped of its personality, and yet 
remain active in the same body alongside a 

^ Lack of imagination in interpreting imaginative writings is 
often coupled with a fancifulness which detects in the Old 
Testament types and predictions of events and ideas character- 
istic solely of the New. 


newly created self to which personality has 
been transferred. There is too much common- 
place psychology in the air to allow easy cre- 
dence of a theory so hostile to what all plain 
folk know about themselves. What do familiar 
terms mean when so used ? What does " self " 
mean to the average man if it no longer m.eans 
" the same " ? Continuous identity of perso- 
nality is the fundamental marvel and the fun- 
damental reality in a human being. Now the 
Brethren did not set up for expounders of a 
new psychology, but they had the misfortune 
to be defying all the psychology there was 
afloat. Not only mental science, but the plain 
sense of all men, guarded most of their hearers 
and many readers against making the New 
Testament responsible for the fancy of a 
shifted selfhood. With the same emphasis all 
consciences cry out at the moral obliquity of 
claiming to do no wrong, while that which 
once was self goes on in wrong-doing. And 
this claim has been made. There are some 
who confess szns, but deny sm. " Ephraim said 
. . . They shall find none iniquity in me that 
were sin." A well-known clergyman ^ has 

1 Rev. Dr. A. C. Dixon. 


published the statement that a professional 
evangelist who had been found drunk declared 
to him " he became intoxicated when under 
the influence of the Holy Spirit"! And it is 
on record ^ that a Scotch Plymouth Brother, 
who had been rebuking tippling at a tavern, 
presently sat down to his cups saying that what 
was wicked in others was blameless in him, 
because he had " been converted." 

This is precisely the error rebuked by John : 
" If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, 
and the truth is not in us." Or, if the Brethren 
ask us to take Paul at his word when he says, 
" It is no more I that do it, but sin that 
dwelleth in me," we should take him so when 
he says, " I no longer live, but Christ liveth in 
me." In the first case, he would be denying 
that the old self was any longer Paul ; but in 
the second case, he would be denying that even 
the new self was Paul. Can the most deter- 
mined idealist be persuaded that either regen- 
eration or sanctification has stripped him too 
of personality, and left him with no soul of his 
own ? If we are to take both sayings literally, 
any one can see that we shall have no Paul at 

1 Reid's Plymouth Brethrenism Unveiled^ p. 160. 


all, but only Paul's body holding a reincarnated 
Christ. When those who love the Book take 
such risks in interpreting it, they do so only 
for the sake of a purely fanciful theory which 
they love too w^ell, and which, it sometimes 
happens, they teach incautious persons to love. 
But the ill success of Brethrenism with the 
mass of people is sufficiently accounted for 
w^hen we see that experience utterly sets at 
naught both the doctrine and the overstrained 
literalness which is relied on for the doctrine's 
defence. Too many of us plodders of the 
western world habitually fall into hyperbole to 
leave us any excuse if we let this bold figure 
of speech go unrecognized and unenjoyed in 
Eastern and ancient apostles. 

It is want of discrimination in dealing with 
New Testament figures of speech which is 
responsible for most of the petty, eccentric, 
and almost vexatious sects. Yet the hearts of 
ordinary Christians are touched by the defer- 
ence of Plymouth Brethren, at all costs, to the 
Bible as they understand it. It is a character- 
istic especially affecting to those who grieve 
that their own faith is shaken. And experience 
justifies this fellow-feeling toward some whom 


one does not himself agree with. The wrench 
with which faith departs is an experiential vin- 
dication of faith. Experience can detect that 
something is wrong, when it cannot discover 
what would be right. The truth on not a few 
points must be got from the Bible, or not at 
all. It is not here and now the question why a 
book which, after all, but sets forth truths of 
ancient experience should prove the best inter- 
preter of present-day experience. That it is 
so is hardly denied. It is, then, no ground of 
reproach against Plymouth Brethren, but a 
lesson if possible worth learning from them, 
that they believe in and defer to the Bible. 
But we and they ought to adopt methods of 
interpretation wiser than those which they have 

Section V. — The Keswick Movement 

AN American layman bridged in his own 
person the wide chasm between the 
position of Plymouth Brethren on the 
one side, across the lofty abutments of Sinless 
Perfection and the Rest of Faith, to the Kes- 
wick teaching on the opposite shore. Robert 
Pearsall Smith became the subject at a " Holi- 
ness Meeting," of experiences w^hich often pro- 
foundly change the sentiments and habits of a 
lifetime. As a Plymouth Brother he might 
have been content with the holiness which 
comes with conversion ; but as one who sought 
'' the blessing " at a holiness meeting, he virtu- 
ally gave up a logical for an emotional assur- 
ance, a faith supposed to be founded on the 
Bible for a faith distinctly based on an inter- 
pretation of experience. Yet this change, from 
the bold yet frigid doctrine of the Brethren to 
that which was taught at the holiness meeting, 
was hardly more significant than that which is 
almost insensibly coming about between the 


self-seeking of the perfectionist and Higher 
Life schemes and the self-forgetful aims of the 
Keswick movement, at least as it is now taking 
form in America. So striking and so vital is 
this difference that, when one of the earlier dis- 
ciples of the Higher Life heard the Keswick 
position defined, he exclaimed, " Why, this is 
just the opposite ! " And so in effect, we may 
hope, it is at least beginning to be. 

Although still following business pursuits, 
Mr. Pearsall Smith became after the holiness 
meeting active and notably successful in reli- 
gious leadership. In 1872 his activities were 
extended to Europe, and were accepted with 
enthusiasm by evangelical circles in England. 
Yet already in his own land an erratic and 
questionable tendency had appeared in his 
methods. The consequences dreaded in Ger- 
many have already been mentioned. In Eng- 
land his teachings fell under the strictures of 
Mr. Spurgeon, and his proceedings, as is widely 
known, drew upon him the censure of his 
associates. As a result he became dispirited, 
withdrew from the work, and sank into scepti- 
cism. It is pleasant to record that before his 
death he had escaped from Doubting Castle. 


But his defection did not occur until he had 
begun in Oxford and Brighton a movement 
which, under more cautious leadership, has 
been associated for over twenty years with the 
seat of yearly conferences, the village of Keswick 
in the pleasant Lake Country of England. 

Contrast of aims between earlier schemes 
and the Keswick scheme did not by any means 
exist at the outset, and is not always recogniz- 
able even now. The earliest Keswick confer- 
ences under the presidency of Canon Battersby 
differed from the Oxford and Brighton meet- 
ings under the leadership of Pearsall Smith 
simply in being more wisely managed. They 
aimed alike at "deepening the spiritual life." 
This is still pre-eminently their aim at Keswick; 
but the hope and the purpose of fitting for 
higher service those who attend the confer- 
ences has gradually taken a prominence, at 
least now and then, which brings the move- 
ment into fuller harmony with the practical 
genius of Christianity in our generation. One 
of the closest observers traces this result 
largely to the late Dwight L. Moody. Every 
summer Mr. Moody brought some of the 
Keswick leaders over to Northfield, and it is 


easy to believe that they there fell more or 
less under the influence of his masterful spirit. 
Keswick lent its inspiration to Northfield, and 
Northfield was deferred to at Keswick. The 
keen observer above mentioned recalls many 
scenes at Northfield when, to quote his very 
explicit statement, what was intended " to lead 
and end in ' life ' and its deepening, Mr. Moody, 
with his eye for the practical and for swift 
results, used to turn into ' power ' and its effect 
in rousing the churches and saving souls. 
The Keswick brethren were occasionally per- 
plexed at his summary disposal of their efforts. 
He wanted ministers to ' get the blessing,' go 
home and 'set the churches afire' and save 

Now if this account of perhaps unconscious 
developments in the Keswick movement is 
correct, it is greatly to the credit of those who 
have the movement under their charge. At 
all events, one of its American representatives 
writes me as to the existing spirit and aims : 
" By all means we hold that the Holy Spirit's 
threefold work is i, Regeneration; 2, Sanctifi- 
cation, especially of disposition ; 3, Service, 
which is very much emphasized as the grand 


outcome of holy living." It is this third 
feature of the movement vi^hich gives it unique 
importance among sanctificationist schemes, 
and makes it the embodiment of higher promise 
than earlier schemes were able to hold out. 

Certainly the Keswick aim has never been 
to stir the sensibilities. It is carefully guarded 
at that point. Earlier proceedings in Oxford 
and Brighton gave the English evangelicals 
a wholesome dread of excessive emotionalism. 
The Keswick platform as ordinarily presented 
does not, like the Higher Life doctrine, teach 
that the Holy Spirit is given to make men 
happy, but is sent to make them holy and 
helpful. Still, it must not be overlooked that 
individuals do not seem quite settled in their 
minds on this point. For example, the Rev. 
Dr. A. T. Pierson, whom I take to be the 
foremost American leader of the Keswick 
movement, in his Story of Keswick [p. 78] 
states that after steps one to five, including 
infilling of the Spirit, " beyond these there is 
always a sixth and last stage of teaching, — 
the privileges and victories implied in this 
higher and deeper life, such as the rest of 
faith," etc. But in a more recent appeal by 


thirty-three gentlemen, of whom Dr. Pierson 
is first, the sixth attainment is very different 
from mere rest, it is " separation . . . for ser- 
vice," and the seventh is, as in most Keswick 
programmes, the " infilling." 

Another proposition, hardly peculiar to Kes- 
wick, is that the success of its preachers is 
accounted for, not by their eloquence, for they 
seem to avoid being eloquent; not by their 
learning, which they never parade ; not even by 
their knack of managing men, a gift which 
they must be admitted to possess in high de- 
gree ; but all their success is scrupulously, insis- 
tently, and incessantly ascribed to " the fulness 
of the Holy Spirit" in them. It is noteworthy 
that this is done not merely as an act of pious 
acknowledgment, but as a calm and accurate 
way of accounting for the impressiveness 
shown by their leading preachers. And so 
they tell other ministers, to use the language 
of Rev. F. B. Meyer ^ concerning what he calls 
*' the power of God the Holy Ghost stored in 
Christ," " As soon as you link to it, not you, 
but the power of God through you, will repeat 
the marvels of Pentecost." 

1 A Castaway, p. 89. 


The Keswick movement is further distin- 
guished in special degree by the measures 
which it prescribes for obtaining a grant of 
"power from on high." It specifies seven 
steps which the aspirants for this enduement 
must take, and commonly in the order men- 
tioned.^ These steps are : — 

1. Immediate abandonment of every known sin 
and doubtful indulgence. 

2. Surrender of the whole being to Jesus Christ as 
not only Saviour, but Master and Lord. 

3. Appropriation by faith of God's promise and 
power for holy living. 

4. Voluntary mortification of the self-life, that God 
may be all in all. 

5. Gracious renewal or transformation of the in- 
most temper and disposition. 

6. Separation unto God for sanctification and 

7. Enduement with power and filling with the 
Holy Spirit. 

But experience must be consulted as to the 
worth of the Keswick movement, and experience 
already has something adverse to show. The 

1 The Keswick platform as stated in the circular appeal of 
Rev. Dr. A. T. Pierson and thirty-two others, " To all who love 
our Lord, Jesus Christ," etc. 


feature last mentioned had been tested and 
condemned before it was taken up at Keswick. 
The plan of attaining a high state of grace 
through a series of prescribed steps, although 
novel to most Protestants, is familiar to 
Romanists. For hundreds of years the mon- 
astic establishments of the Roman Church pre- 
scribed in their rules of life methods, more or 
less elaborate, by which " the religious " are led 
on toward perfection. The Jesuit system re- 
duced its method to military precision and 
rigor. Almost at once the novice must let his 
will be broken by an exacting series of prac- 
tices directed to this end; while the "coad- 
jutors" and the ''professed" learn in the 
process of years to yield even reason and natu- 
ral affection to the demands of their superior. 
The Mystics and Quietists in turn rediscovered 
or reinvented the processes fittest in their 
opinion for leading the devotee into what 
Madame Guyon's famous " Way to God " 
called "an amorous passivity," an "expiring 
in the arms of love," a " dying in the embraces 
of the Lord," and a resultant union with him 
which she can compare only to " a bride faint- 
ing in the arms of her husband, . . . and re- 


called to life by his tender caresses." ^ This is 
as significantly French and Romanist as the 
story of a Keswick leader's transformation is 
English and at least not offensively un-Protes- 
tant. " I turned to Christ and said : * Lord, as 
I breathe in this whiff of warm night air, so I 
breathe into every part of me Thy blessed 
Spirit.' I felt no hand laid on my head, there 
was no lambent flame, there was no rushing 
sound from heaven ; but by faith, without 
emotion, without excitement, I took, and took 
for the first time, and have kept on taking ever 
since." ^ But the experience prescribed by the 
Catholic Quietist is nearer that prescribed by 
the Keswick group than is the experience of 
their own leader. Madame Guyon declared 
that it was necessary to take time for the con- 
summation of the process, and meanwhile to 
suffer from " aridities " as well as to taste de- 
lights ; but Mr. Meyer consented to no delay, 
overleaped all possible gradations, and took to 
himself in a moment and in full the enduement 
of the Spirit. The English meetings have 
sometimes required for this result a week or 

^ Madame Guyon's IFay to God^ chapters iii. v. vi. 
^ F. B. Meyer's A Castaway, p. 96. 


more, with a day given to each step. It is 
clear enough that the New Testament does not 
map out a scheme of graded advance by 
special steps from a regenerate but unsancti- 
fied state to a state in which the believer is 
filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul, 
to be sure, describes the various armor of God, 
and Peter notes graces which should be added 
to graces; but in neither case is there any 
reason to understand that a strict order of pro- 
motion is laid down. And so far as experience 
is entitled to a voice, on no point could its 
warning be more explicit. For centuries the 
plan of a prescribed process has been as 
thoroughly tried as a plan could be tried, 
and has as thoroughly failed as a plan could 
fail. Monasticism is antiquated and moribund, 
especially as a method of " deepening the 
spiritual life." Protestants in general agree 
that not devotion to Christ in retirement, but 
devotion to the cause of Christ in the world is 
the ideal and the urgent need for Christians. 
No doubt individuals have found one or 
another set of steps useful. This is why the 
steps have been wrought into a scheme and 
prescribed by these very individuals when act- 


ing as spiritual directors for aspiring souls. 
It is a mistake against which the sagacious 
Moody warned his co-workers. The one way, 
he said, not to help another man is to tell him 
your religious experience. This is because no 
circumstantial process of entering or advanc- 
ing in the Christian life is prescribed either 
in the New Testament or by the nature of 
the case. Your experience is your own and 
not another's, because you are not another. 
Marked diversity exists and is desirable. Only 
Jesuitism would wholly suppress it. " If they 
were all one member, where were the body ? 
But now are they many members, yet but one 
body." And so, if the question is whether the 
largest spiritual good is to be reached by a pre- 
scribed process, by a strategic series of devo- 
tional approaches, the answer of history in the 
Roman Church, as well as the ingrained con- 
viction of the Protestant centuries, is unequi- 
vocally No. In fact, the Keswick leaders 
themselves seem not yet quite certain what 
process to prescribe. As already intimated, 
if one will look over recent prescriptions, he 
will find them strikingly different. Evidently 
the best wisdom and inventiveness which 


could be brought to bear have not yet settled 
what is the indispensable supplement to the 
Bible's requirements. 

Now as to the supreme gift of the Holy 
Spirit there is another point which experience 
has not been testing hitherto on so large a 
scale or for so long a period; but it is a point 
which more sensibly than anything else in the 
Keswick plans touches Christian ministers, 
and they are the class of persons to whom, 
above all others, plans of this kind must make 
their chief appeal. This critical point is that 
the Holy Spirit is given for "power." The 
prospect is thrilling. The question which for 
pastors takes precedence of all other questions 
is, Are there any terms on which ordinary 
ministers can secure the power over a congre- 
gation which is shown by the Keswick leaders ? 
To use the words of Mr. Meyer, can I so 
" link to the power of the Holy Ghost stored 
in God that not I, but the power of God 
through me, will repeat the marvels of Pente- 
cost " ? Think what such an offer is to the 
average pastor; what it is to the preacher 
whose congregation but half fills the meeting- 
house, and maybe is becoming smaller; what 


it is even to the popular pulpiteer, envied by 
other preachers and coveted by other preach- 
ers' churches, who has crowds to hear him, but 
whose heart is desolate because he sees no 
good coming of it all, and who is himself 
genuine enough to look upon his show of 
success as a mockery. When the apostle from 
Keswick arrives, what wonder that ministers 
throng any church in which he is to speak? 
He is going to speak about piety ; but they 
know it will be about piety as a means to 
power. And when he shows his saintly, win- 
some English face, and with calm, slow words, 
in tones as hushed as the duty to be heard 
will allow, in the very first breath assures his 
brothers in the service of the gospel that they 
must ascribe nothing to any ability of his, but 
all to the power of the Holy Ghost ; and when 
those who listen and look absolutely believe 
in his childlike ingenuousness and in him, as 
I am sure they all do, how can he fail to hold 
every mind intent and every heart wide open 
for the secret which he is getting ready to tell ? 
For his secret is how each and all those ordinary 
persons can " repeat the marvels of Pentecost." 
It would satisfy most of them if they could re- 


peat the marvel which he is now doing before 
them so smoothly and so easily. This is cer- 
tainly something that we must look into. 

And, mark you, he is not offering the fulness 
of the Spirit in order to — " i, abandonment 
of sin ; 2, surrender to Christ ; 3, appropria- 
tion of God's power for holy living ; 4, morti- 
fication of the self-life; 5, transformation of 
the inmost temper; 6, separation unto God." 
No, all of these momentous steps are to be 
taken before the infilling of the Spirit for power 
comes, and taken by our own energetic voli- 
tion. For the making of character, we are 
taught, the Spirit is instilled " drop after 
drop ; " but we must pass through many a 
flooding Pentecost if we are often to be "filled 
with the Spirit for power." 

And mark ye again, what we are looking 
into is not what is sometimes called " a special 
outpouring " upon a church, but it is an infill- 
ing of the preacher alone. All is made to 
turn on him, quite in the present-day fashion 
among churches ; and sedate persons, I thought, 
were generally disposed to regard this as a 
doubtful fashion. At all events, that rapid 
awakening and wide absorption in religious 


concerns known as a " revival " sometimes 
comes without the aid of a " revivalist," and 
comes as a surprise to a pastor. I know of 
one such in a village where a theological pro- 
fessor was " supplying " a pastorless church. 
It was a great, an astonishing revival, — and 
I wish I knew some other word for it beside 
this hackneyed and almost cant word. More 
than one hundred and thirty persons were 
added to that village church, and mostly held 
out afterwards. The professor was far from a 
revivalist. He was at that time new to his 
chair, and absorbed in making a system of 
theology, which, as evangelists agree, is almost 
surely fatal to vital godliness and to any real 
service which he might otherwise render to 
these sinful times. I knew him well enough 
to know that he had no great graces. He did 
not preach on week days, nor, ordinarily, did 
any one. He did not even go to the daily 
meetings, except once a week to hear " the 
experience of converts " whom he would the 
next Sunday have to receive. In short, it was 
not in any sense his revival. And the veteran 
who had been minister of that parish for 
eighteen years had been still more theological 


than the professor. Not John Howe nor 
Nathaniel Emmons could outdo that stout 
Calvinist in the steadily theological cast of 
his discourses. Each was a whole " body of 
divinity " in due form and order. And this 
will make it plain to every one that, as it was 
not a professor's revival, it could not have 
been the old preacher's revival. But it seemed 
that " the people had a mind to work." It all 
started with a meeting of the young folks, for 
which leave was got. And so a revival may 
come like an unlooked for shower, when the 
pastor or his substitute is no better than per- 
haps the average of his brethren. It has been 
heard of that hollow-hearted men, even a 
" Rev. Theron Ware," may serve the purpose. 
" What then ? Whether in pretence or in 
truth, Christ is preached." 

The Keswick problem is not, therefore, 
whether ordinary spiritual enduement suffices 
to sanctify; nor whether great gains to a 
church may not be due to the people instead 
of to their pastor; nor is it the Keswick prob- 
lem whether additional helps may not be 
granted for particular occasions ; but it is 
about an entire " filling " by the Holy Spirit, 


so that the pastor has a mysterious com- 
mand over men. Some great orators owe to 
nature a gift like this. No one can tell what 
makes them so interesting, so persuasive. In 
default of a correct name for it, we choose a 
false one, and call it " magnetism." Now the 
problem raised for us by the Keswick claim 
is, does the Holy Spirit made unmagnetic 
preachers magnetic? Does it surcharge them, 
so to speak, with spiritual energy capable of 
exerting a spiritual pull on every near-by per- 
son } Does the gift of " power " override all 
distinctions and differences ? Does it make 
of the dumb a Demosthenes ? If we were 
arguing the case, it would be necessary to ask 
where in the New Testament anything like 
this is promised ; but as we are merely re- 
viewing the facts, we need only ask whether 
anything like this is actual. Do ordinary 
pastors see the wonders of Pentecost follow 
their ministry because they find themselves, 
like the apostles on that great day, filled for 
the occasion with the Holy Ghost ? Expe- 
rience says that some have tried it and suc- 
ceeded, that others have tried it and failed. 
Experience says that this doctrine is not so 


close to reality as the Pauline doctrine of 
"diversity of gifts." " Every man hath his 
proper gift of God, one after this manner, and 
another after that." Not all are apostles, 
prophets, nor teachers. Not all ministers can 
be masters of assemblies. Not all are or can 
be Beechers or Spurgeons, Brookses or Chan- 
nings, Myers or Moodys or Morgans, nor even 
Elder Knapps. Not every pastor, as he meets 
people, can make himself pleasant, suave, easy, 
and welcome to every one's confidence. It may 
be that every familiarity the pastor attempts 
is alarming or resented. The sheep may flee 
their shepherd. God has certainly made us 
as different as he has made the body's mem- 
bers, giving to each one an office as it has 
pleased him. It did not follow in Paul's time, 
and it does not follow now, that the Holy 
Spirit has not as much part in the humblest 
and obscurest service as in the most conspicu- 
ous and most elevated. 

" Who sweeps a room as for thy laws, 
Makes that and the action fine." 

Unless it can be shown that God means all 
ministers to prevail by pulpit power, it is a 


cruel delusion for all ministers to look for 
pulpit power. A sickening disappointment 
and despondency may wait on him who 
spares no renunciation, no effort, no gift of 
himself to God, in hope that God in turn will 
specially grant him through the Holy Spirit 
ability to speak with effect when he goes 
on God's errands, and not leave him to be 
any longer the only interested listener to his 
own voice. 

Experience, then, cannot be said uniformly 
to indorse the high expectations which the 
Keswick overture encourages. Experience 
still leaves it in question whether, in addition 
to all which the believer may count on from 
the abiding of the Comforter, there is a dis- 
tinct gift for purity or for power. It is even a 
problem whether efficiency is not from time to 
time granted in answer to prayer, yet quite 
disproportionately to piety. If so, it refutes 
the Keswick teaching which requires entire 
self-dedication as a preliminary to spiritual 
power. And there is no prospect that this 
problem will be early settled to the satisfac- 
tion of believers in general. 


Nevertheless, it is precisely in connection 
with their promises on this point that the 
Keswick leaders have of late been giving prom- 
inence to a view of the .Holy Spirit's work, 
which forms an important advance on all 
earlier schemes for uplift of spirituality. This 
view is that the Spirit is given, not chiefly for 
the benefit of the one who receives it, but in 
order that he may be a helper of others. Of 
course, it must be admitted that not all the 
leaders are saying this with the emphasis that 
some of them use; that it may not be at all 
as much heard of over seas as in the Keswick 
circles of America ; and that none of them all 
the time keep to the fore the truth that the 
most useful gift is the highest gift. But some 
of them are saying it at least part of the time ; 
and it is a truth which, once clearly seen, 
cannot easily be again lost to sight, nor ever 
left unheard of. This view is not only, as we 
shall see, according to the New Testament's 
teaching, but is the first view which bids fair 
to bring all earnest minds into agreement on 
the theme of the highest life. Not that it 
quite adequately sets the matter forth ; but 
that it presents one side of it, and that the 


inside. As then the early perfectionists made 
prominent the moral aspect of sanctification, 
and the Higher Life scheme pressed on our 
notice its spiritual means and results, so the 
Keswick teaching offers its own peculiar ad- 
vantage when, quite in harmony with the 
forward-looking gaze of those who are study- 
ing human kind and human interests, it 
strongly emphasizes the social aspects of the 
best Christian living. When, I say, and only 
when it does this, can the Keswick teaching 
show any high specialty to glory in. 

Before passing to the more grateful duty of 
presenting the positive aspects of the highest 
life, I ought to state by way of summary what 
every attentive student of this theme must 
have noticed, that special theories of sanctifi- 
cation tend irresistibly toward perfectionism, 
however disguised. This tendency involves 
a fault in them all to which attention has not 
so far been called in these pages. It is literally 
a fault, a deficiency, a shortcoming, but hardly 
less deleterious than if it were an active vice. 
If individual perfectionists attain to the best 
type of living, they do so partly in spite of the 


scheme which they have followed, however 
much helped by it. A defect as serious is 
exposed in the Keswick scheme both by the 
cautious reserve of its ideal and the incautious 
elaborateness of its sevenfold method. Indeed, 
this defect is singularly pervasive of the 
Keswick movement, and makes it possible 
that the graces which all admire in its best 
exemplars should sometimes be mated to 
peculiarities by which not a few are repelled. 

But this error cannot be seen in full light 
except by contrast with the real nature of the 
highest life. We may hope that the real 
nature of that life will not be seriously dis- 
puted. All discussion and all trials have 
verged toward its recognition. All that the 
Christian generations have thought and urged, 
have longed for and enjoyed, tried and accom- 
plished, helps us to see at last the same goal. 
But our final word about the Keswick move- 
ment and its shortcomings must be deferred 
to the closing section. 




Section I. — In Outline 

IF there were spiritual gifts for the Corin- 
thians, it was for the sake of making 
those party-riven Christians helpful to 
each other. Paul leaves no doubt on that 
point. " The manifestation of the Spirit is 
given to every man to profit withal." That 
this does not mean for one's own profiting, but 
for the profiting of all the rest, is made clear 
by all that Paul was then engaged in teaching. 
God's children, he said, were like members of 
the human body, each needing the other, God 
giving "more abundant honor to that part 
which lacked," and all " that there should be no 
schism in the body," — the very thing there was 
at Corinth. This is what made the apostle in- 
terrupt his discussion of spiritual gifts to tell 
how much better than all gifts love is. Yet, 
the rhapsody of the thirteenth chapter being 
finished, Paul takes up the theme of spiritual 



gifts again, and goes on to show that the gifts, 
primarily for the church, are also for the sake 
of those whom the church can reach, and are to 
be prized in proportion to the help they bring. 
And so, while tongues were worth something as 
signs to unbelievers, prophecy was worth more 
even to the same persons, for it led the unbe- 
liever to worship God and to report abroad that 
God was of a truth among the Christians. 

In these latter days and in our own land the 
good Keswick folk have set up the Pauline 
standard of spiritual gifts, and are content to 
recognize that the most useful gifts are the 
highest. They have not thus provided us with 
a complete statement of what constitutes the 
highest life, but they have furnished a clue. 
That the manifestation of the Spirit is given to 
make a man profitable is but an illustration of 
the general truth that the Highest Life which 
the Holy Spirit produces in us is : — 

A Life for Objects Outside Ourselves. 

That text about the gift of the Spirit for profit- 
ableness, and it is the most pertinent I know of, 
looks exclusively toward ends which the spirit- 
ual man may find in other men. It is a look 


quite from the heart of the matter outward. 
As we recall the lessons which the several doc- 
trines about the best living have bequeathed, 
we are led by them to different points of view, 
but always to a view from within outward, 
never from without inward. With one excep- 
tion : the calm and studious Plymouth Brethren 
taught that we must take our doctrine from 
the Bible, not from what goes on within our- 
selves, and be content to have our place before 
God a thing imputed, or reckoned, to us. But 
the glowing advocates of Sinless Perfection, 
eager as they were for a radical change within, 
insisted that the highest life must be a life 
of obedience Godward. The beautiful dream 
of the Higher Life showed us Jesus as an 
object of unwavering trust. The unresting 
toilers from Keswick stir in us by example, 
even more movingly than by precept, the long- 
ing to spend and be spent in the service of 
men's souls. We are thus led by common 
accord to an outward look; and in that out- 
ward look we are instructed to notice moral, 
religious, and social elements in the Highest 
Life. These elements can be set forth in 
phrases convenient to ponder. The Highest 


Life, formed in us by the Spirit of God, and 
directed to ends outside ourselves, is : — 

To DO Right because God Requires it; 

To Trust in Christ because He Deserves it; 

To Love the Brother, Whoever He is. 

The soundest considerations support this 
doctrine of the highest life. It does not need 
a deep mind to see that the true end of being 
for any living thing is to do what its structure 
provides for. Anatomy determines physiology, 
and physiology determines life. When the 
faculties of one class of beings are higher than 
those of another class, the way of living suitable 
to the lower class would be degradation and 
degeneracy for the higher class. It is not hav- 
ing but using the highest powers which gives 
worth to any life. Now man's highest powers 
are social. It is these which make possible the 
infinite intricacy of civilization, and all the 
noblest traits in human character. It is these 
which to the evolutionist connote man's su- 
preme place in nature. The Christian religion 
but widens our relations, and supplies the 
strongest incentives to normal activity in these 
relations. Indeed, religion itself is but a social 


relation with God. It is then the highest 
Christian life to live for objects outside oneself, 
only because it is the life worthiest of man ; 
and it is the life worthiest of man, because only 
such a life carries with it the fullest employment 
of the distinctive and highest faculties of 
a human being. All the rights of religion, as 
well as of good morals and of bodily health, are 
provided for in just one way; namely, in acting 
according to the best that a man is. Sin is 
man's unmaking, and " the new man" is a man 
made over after the image of Him that created 
him. It seems a cold, unsplritual construing 
of the supreme duty to say that it is all summed 
up in the words, " Be manly ; " but this is what 
Paul made of it in one strong Greek word,^ as 
he rounded off his First Epistle to the Cor- 
inthians. The deepest thinking cannot dig 
below this, nor the highest aspirations mount 
above it. The highest life, the life like Christ's, 
the ideal life for a man, the life altogether 
bound up in its highest ends, in a word, the 
normal life, is — 

To Live for Objects outside Oneself. 

1 'AvbpiCea-de (i Cor. xvi. 13) familiarly translated by four 
words, " Quit yourselves like men." 

Section II. — The Moral Aspect 

TO DO Right because God Requires it, 
this is the highest Christian Hving 
from the point of view of morals. 
If any one asks how to enter the Christian 
life, do not tell him to begin with doing right 
because God requires it. This would be to 
paganize Christianity. For paganism makes 
religion turn on what a man does Godward, 
while Christianity makes religion begin with 
what God does manward. To teach us, to 
renew us, to redeem us, these are the starting- 
point, and these all are for God to do. Luther, 
after the semi-paganized fashion of his times, 
tried to set himself right with God, did all 
that religion then required of him, went to 
confession without sins to confess, was like 
another Paul, " as touching the righteousness 
which is in the law blameless." But he was 
aware that somehow all was amiss with him. 
And so it remained until he let God begin, 
and Christ be his justification. So must every 


one who seeks to be in right relations with 
God. But from that instant the only measure 
of moral obligation which a man ought to 
allow himself is, as to all things great and 
small, to do right because God requires this. 

I do not mean that it would cease to be 
duty to do right if there were no God. A 
rational being cannot help feeling that right 
is different from wrong. The difference be- 
longs to the nature of the case. That right 
and wrong are essentially the same cannot 
even be imagined. If those clever young 
friends of mine could imaginably try with 
deft fingers to cut up the stuff for their side- 
board by planing across it, or to burnish its 
top with the flat of a saw, the absurdity of the 
attempt would be laughable. But that the 
absurd is really laughable cannot be proved ; 
it can only be felt. That anything is droll 
can no more be proved than that anything is 
wrong; but who doubts either .J* The comic 
and the bad are both known intuitively. To 
rational beings they are self-evident realities, 
and knowledge of the self-evident is absolute. 
To deny the self-evident is self-stultification. 
That such realities exist is not disguised by 



perplexity in particular cases. Even when I 
do not know whether this act is right, I know 
there is a right. 

If, now, one tries to think away the inherent 
unlikeness of right and wrong for the sake of 
exalting God as lawgiver, if one says to him- 
self, " The will of God alone makes right right, 
and wrong wrong," although he says it for 
religion's sake, — he is undermining religion. 
For if I cannot know whether right is in itself 
different from wrong, then I cannot know 
that God would be different if he were bad. 
If I cannot trust human reason to see self- 
evident truths by their own light, then I can- 
not know anything. Nor, I suppose, can God, 
since he presumably knows by intuition. And 
so we come to this fatal result : if it is not in 
itself duty to do right, it is not in itself duty 
to obey God, for that would only be to do 
what in itself is right. We may doubt whether 
there is a God, but not whether right is at 
bottom different from wrong. Still, this is 
not the end of the matter. 

I now see that it is important to do right, 
but not yet how important it is. This im- 
portance can be gathered from three facts: 


First, the true end for any being is to be and 
to do what it is naturally fit for. To a rational 
being the normal is the only right, the ab- 
normal is the only wrong. A crime against 
nature is the uttermost evil, and conformity 
to nature is the uttermost good. So much is 
self-evident : to be normal is to be right, and 
admirably right ; to be abnormal is to be 
wrong, and abominably wrong. 

Secondly, it was God who gave us the con- 
stitution which we must not violate. To act 
according to our constitutive laws is to act 
according to the design of our Maker. There 
is thus a religious obligation to live normally. 
But not even yet is the full obligation to right- 
ness in sight. 

This obligation is seen only when, thirdly, 
the likeness of man to his Maker is seen. If 
God made man in his own image, for man to 
act according to his typical nature is to act 
according to God's nature, and to violate his 
typical nature is to do violence to the nature 
of God also. The ultimate standard of right- 
eousness is nowhere short of the nature of 
God himself. Above him or outside him there 
is no standard to which he ought to conform. 


What HE IS, is the standard of what he ought 
to be. For him to harm himself would be a 
wrong so awful that we must not let the mind 
dwell upon it. And so, while the standard 
nearest to man is his own nature, the ultimate 
standard is God's nature. The greatness of 
God thus becomes the only measure of duty. 
The majesty of his eternity and of his presence 
everywhere, the supremacy of his almightiness 
and his boundless knowledge, in particular 
the austerity of his holiness and the august- 
ness of his love, are the measure of our obli- 
gation to be and to do right. " Be ye holy, 
for I the Lord your God am holy." 

The thought is tremendous ; the responsi- 
bility is appalling. " Who may abide the day 
of his coming .f* and who shall stand when he 
appeareth ? " But the requirement must not 
be let down. God cannot acquiesce in any 
wrong, however trivial. To do so would make 
an end of his holiness. It would dethrone 
him. Indeed, hef would no longer be our God. 
He must insist on the inviolability of his per- 
fections with all the energy of his nature, and 
to all wrong he must oppose all that he is. 
But who is so good as to live a single day 


through as in his sight, doing right not by 
habit, nor even for the sake of a quiet con- 
science, but with conscious regard for God? 
Surely we are far enough from the highest 
Christian living even in its moral aspect. Or 
if any one asks why you may not reckon 
yonder good man a Christian, when you are 
assured that no one knows any evil of him, 
that he is certainly a better man than most 
church members ; is not the proper reply 
obvious enough ? He never does right be- 
cause God requires it. No one pretends that 
he does. Who, then, can pretend that he 
leads the highest Christian life, or leads a 
Christian life at all? 

The idea of duty is not the mother of 
Christian graces; it is their elder sister. 
Mothers use tact. A wise mother is careful 
not to see everything that her child does. If 
she constantly follows up her child, she has 
become a nagging nurse, a tiresome governess. 
But the elder sister knows no need of tact. 
Her eye is on everything. She never lets up. 
She is quick to say, " You must n't do that. 
This is what you must do." She is the im- 
perious conscience of her younger brothers 


and sisters ; and she ought to be. So the idea 
of duty knows no relaxation. Its demands 
are incessant. It insists on them in the most 
august Name. It asserts, and may claim, the 
limitless authority of the Supreme Being. 
Plainly, that man alone meets the require- 
ments of the highest life who not only feels 
the obligation to obey God, but loyally loves 
the obligation, is tired of " unchartered free- 
dom," and is chafed by " the weight of chance 
desires." The ideal is nowhere more ade- 
quately set forth than in Wordsworth's famil- 
iar Ode to Duty. 

" Stern lawgiver ! yet thou dost wear 
The Godhead's most benignant grace ; 
Nor know we anything so fair 
As is the smile upon thy face ; 
Flowers laugh before thee on their beds, 
And fragrance in thy footing treads ; 
Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong, 
And the most ancient heavens through thee are fresh 
and strong." 

No ideal of the highest life is safe which is 
not stiffened through and through by the high- 
est ideal of duty. Ours is a generation more 
liable to loosen the moral obligation in religion 


than were its predecessors of a century or two 
ago. The Puritan centuries saw Httle else in 
religion, but they saw the religious obligation 
to sound morals. The wish to rid Christianity 
of sternness, particularly to soften its doctrine 
of penalty, threatens at least to impair the 
sense of " the exceeding sinfulness of sin." 
Now no one ought to be surprised to find a 
sentiment so widespread in company with 
eagerly accepted theories of sanctification. 
And so it comes that, if the old perfectionism 
would satisfy us of the possibility of sinless- 
ness, it is tempted either to tone God's moral 
requirement down to man's moral ability, or 
to admit the existence in a saintly person of 
"imperfections" which may even require aton- 
ing, but need not be called sins; if a great 
object of the Higher Life is to be blissfully 
happy, the temptation then is to be rid of all 
disturbing dread of falling into sin by "casting 
the responsibility in that matter once for all 
upon Jesus;" if a Plymouth Brother holds 
the sinlessness of every " new man " to be 
beyond question, there is risk of denying 
accountability for the sins confessedly done 
in the body ; or, if acts of sin intrude into the 


conduct of a Keswick disciple, despite his 
decision once for all to have done with sinning 
and to " accept God's promise and power for 
holy living," the temptation is sore to make a 
point of getting " the inmost temper and dis- 
position transformed," of congratulating one- 
self on thus much, and letting it go at that. 
I do not find any company of devout people 
organized for the betterment of their spiritual 
life, who do not at the same time need to keep 
alive the sense of right and wrong more assid- 
uously than possibly some other Christians, 
who are less bent on exploring the higher 
ranges of spiritual experience, are less at home 
with the deep things of God, and have scantier 
insight into the mysteries of grace. It is 
when one stands with Jesus on the pinnacle 
of the temple that the temptation comes to let 
the angels take care of him, though he cast 
himself down. 

This is but to say that opportunities for 
doing right are opportunities to do wrong; 
that all types of the inner life and all aspira- 
tions offer their sinister possibilities ; that one 
cannot be exalted in nature and mission even 
as Christ, without meeting temptations which 


could not stand in the path of ordinary men. 
It is possible that, as in the wilderness, after 
forty days of fasting and no doubt of deep 
communings, the first solicitation which befell 
the Master was to indulgence of sense, so it 
will be with the docile and loving disciple who 
spends much time apart, "inviting his soul" 
and his Lord. In vain the early hermits and 
some later monks macerated their bodies with 
hope of escaping this trial. Highly wrought 
sensibilities, whether of artists or religious 
devotees, are a source of peculiar and some- 
times sudden peril. This ought not to be a 
matter of wonderment. The emotions which 
accompany worship are an excitation of the 
same sesthetic sensibilities with which the artist 
is concerned. In the latter case the beautiful 
or the sublime in the physical sphere, in the 
former case the sublime and the beautiful in 
the spiritual sphere, are the objects of a sen- 
sibility which to the artist often seems reli- 
gious, and which when religious is still aes- 
thetic. In both cases the emotions, merely as 
emotions, are identical, however diverse the 
objects as objects. If it were not so, architec- 
ture, music, and oratory, instead of aiding devo- 


tion, would always prove to be what sometimes 
they are, diversions of interest, hindrances not 
helps to worship. 

Duty covers all of religion ; obedience is all 
of perfection. The moral obligation is as wide 
as the religious, and the religious enforces the 
whole of the moral obligation. It is a moral 
duty to be devoutly pious, and a pious duty to 
be morally faultless. Faith is, indeed, the root 
principle of piety, but love is its trunk and 
branches. " Faith works by love." But a love 
which is not directed to obedience is no part 
of the Christian life. Jesus said, " He that hath 
my commandments and keepeth them, he it is 
that loveth me." Any other love, even if 
offered to the true God, would be essentially 
pagan; it would sink the worship of Jehovah 
into the scandal and iniquity of heathenism, 
might even repeat the great horror and abomi- 
nation of mingling immoral rites with the wor- 
ship of the Holy One. On the one hand, no 
completeness of obedience to moral laws is 
short of bottomless disloyalty to God if the 
heart will neither give itself to him, nor accept 
him in love; on the other hand, no ardor of 
reHgious love is less than a pollution of the 


heart's altar, if the sacrifice is wantonly or 
carelessly immoral. 

Whatever, then, the glory and the charm in 
other and more spiritual elements of the high- 
est life, there is one which, if we could only 
survey the matter at once from top to bottom 
and all the way around, would be seen to 
include them all ; namely, — 

To DO Right because God Requires it. 

Section III. — The Religious Aspect 

TO Trust in Christ because He De- 
serves IT, this is spiritual-mindedness 
at its highest reach. It is a paradox to 
shame us that out of the mouths of babes and 
sucklings praise is perfected. But babes and 
sucklings instinctively feel that Jesus is to be 
trusted, while few Christians are mature enough 
to trust with a faith so childlike. Sometimes 
they do it when they try, but not all the while 
and without trying. Ordinarily they dare risk 
things with Christ. They take their chances 
that he will look after interests which they are 
too dim-eyed to see, or too reckless to see to. 
They have grown accustomed to counting 
upon him. They are used to short journeys 
by rail, and most likely will begin to-day's trip 
without forebodings. But trust in Christ is a 
poor thing when it is but a calculation of 
chances, a cool indifference to dangers thus 
far escaped. At its best, faith is spontaneous 
and free. It means a deep appreciation, a soul 


to soul intimacy, and necessarily marks the 
highest life. 

Surely it would be preposterous to tell any 
one who seeks admission to the new life that he 
ought to begin with trusting Christ because 
Christ deserves it. He should rather be told 
to trust in Christ because he may. And when 
a Christian finds his badness a burden, he is 
not to be told how worthy his Lord is to be 
trusted in, but should rather be encouraged 
to trust because his Lord can help him. Yet 
how far from the highest living ! What if the 
twelve who went with Jesus up and down the 
land, who knew his ways by night and by day, 
who saw how he bore himself to the multitude 
and to his intimates, who watched every look 
and felt every cadence, — what if it never came 
into their minds to trust him except when they 
had a favor to ask ! And as to us, who know 
so much more than they learned from going 
about with him, who easily grasp the purposes 
which he was not able to make them see, do we 
who from infancy have known all the main 
points concerning him, who for years have 
proved his faithfulness far beyond our faith, do 
we, I say, who have even interior experience 


of Christ at the very source of our lives, never 
find trust going out toward him, or enfolding 
him who dwells within us, except when we 
wish to wring a gift from him by the compul- 
sion of our prayers ? Have we not at length 
suflficient insight to confide in him when we 
have nothing to ask for ? It is humbling to find 
it possible that we should feel no delighted re- 
liance upon Christ just because he deserves this 
from us. Yet it is possible; and it is possible 
too that we are his ; but how dismally low our 
place ! How low our place as he must see it ! 
A good man sometimes has a friend like that ; 
or rather he tries to be friend to a man like 
that, a man whose trust cannot by any means 
be won ; but not even pitiful ness can rate very 
high a friendship so one-sided. 

A man's faith is the measure not only of the 
good he can get, but of the goodness that is in 
him. We trust that which we are like; we 
are like that which we trust. He who trusts 
in trickery is tricky; he who trusts in honesty 
is so far honest. If he has confidence in good- 
ness, he thinks he finds it everywhere. The 
man who has faith in the integrity of men 
and the purity of women may be compelled by 


experience to withdraw his faith, but his faith 
speaks well for himself. Men and women may 
not be as good as he believes them, but he 
is good. The slower one is to surrender his 
trust in his fellows, the better the sign. And 
how bad a sign not to feel drawn toward 
Christ. He that is so drawn is himself already 
Christ-like. The completer the confidence, the 
completer the resemblance. I doubt whether 
there is any graver symptom of soul-sickness, 
apart from downright vice, than the lack of 
spontaneous, unforced outgoing of trust toward 
our Lord. 

They who never trust in Christ because he 
deserves it are liable to a sore mistake, to mis- 
take hope for faith. When their hopes are 
high they rate their faith high, and faith is 
rated low when hope is low. Now hope is 
expectation, but faith is sheer trust. Hope 
often keeps company with faith, but trust may 
be at its highest when there is no hope at all. 
You must needs have profound trust in your 
fellow to submit your wishes to his disposal, 
when you have no idea whether he will grant 
them. Yet the highest faith our Lord ever 


showed was like that. He prayed thrice in the 
garden that the cup might pass from him ; but 
he knew that he must drain the cup. He had 
no hope; did he have no faith? Did he show 
no trust in his Father when he said, "Neverthe- 
less, not my will but thine be done".'* No- 
where else did Jesus show faith like this. But 
it is a great strain of faith to trust without 
hope, and it is a strain which comes with peti- 
tions for benefits. He bore that strain ; can 
we ? But such a strain never comes when 
we trust Christ for his sake, not for our own. 
When we trust because he deserves our trust, 
we cannot be disappointed. We already have 
what we long for ; we have him. 

The cases are many, important, and painful 
in which we mistake hope for faith. This is 
why, although I have elsewhere ^ called attention 
to this very common and very unhappy error, 
it seems worth while to mention it once more. 
The pain of it comes from measuring our faith 
by a false standard. If, for example, some one 
holds that the prayer of faith will still save the 
sick, and his sick do not recover, he may take 
upon his conscience the burden of their con- 

^ See Reh'i^ious Use of Imaginaiion, pp. 112-116. 


tinned illness. He blames his lack of faith 
when he may have lacked only hope. But why 
should he hope? If when he prayed he had 
trust enough to leave the issue with God, how 
could he know what God would do ? And 
why blame himself for not knowing? The bur- 
den is often more grievous than this. We 
pray for the christianizing of a dearly loved 
friend. We cannot consent to have the prayer 
unanswered. We find it hard to leave the 
issue with God, if so to leave it means any 
uncertainty about the result. But we are 
hardly able to hope. Even when we force our- 
selves to hope, and so fancy that faith is grow- 
ing stronger and prayer more likely to be 
heard, presently we find to our dismay that 
hope cannot be made to last. And our fears 
prove well founded. Our friend remains a vic- 
tim to scepticism, perhaps to sin. We cannot 
walk together in the same peaceful path, we can- 
not make our home together in the household 
of faith. Whatever the explanation should be, 
I make bold to say that the weakness of our hope 
has had nothing to do with the result. The con- 
dition of acceptable prayer is not hope but trust. 
This distinction has an important bearing on 


our attempts to secure the highest spiritual 
good. Over and again our guides in this mat- 
ter enjoin us to pray believing that we actually 
receive the blessing asked for, and then it is 
surely ours. This, I admit, is no more than 
the teaching of our Lord in so many words : 
" All things whatever ye pray and ask for, 
believe that ye received, and ye shall have 
them." But are we to take this promise with- 
out qualification? It is like that other promise 
of Christ: " If ye ask anything in my name, 
I will do it." In the former case the condition 
of an answer is belief that the prayer is already 
answered; in the latter case the condition is 
asking in the name of Jesus. Is the promise 
as absolute in intention as in form.? There is 
no reservation in form, is there none in fact, to 
the possibilities of prayer } ^ Sometimes one 
hears a pastor publicly pray that, if there is an 
unconverted person present, " he may not leave 
the house unsaved." The prayer is put up in 
the name of Jesus ; but it is not granted, the 
pastor himself being judge. Is this because 
the pastor did not expect the blessing he 
sought.'* Is it possible that, if he had only 

^ See Appendix on Limited Promises. 


hoped, then no one would have left the house 
unconverted ? There is somethinof touchins: 
in a concern for all one's parishioners so eager 
that prayer cannot leave out one of them, but 
for each and all, even the most obdurate, 
springs unpremeditated and unrestrainable 
from the pastor's lips. Is the minister's want 
of hope fatal to these unyielding souls ? If 
want of hope is the same as want of faith, then 
the pastor is responsible, because he is bound 
to have faith ; but if faith and hope are not the 
same, then one may fully trust God without 
feeling certain what God will grant. Were 
want of hope all the same as want of faith, and 
were want of hope what prevents the conver- 
sion by " irresistible grace " of all one's loved 
hearers, what a burden of souls would be on 
every minister, on every Christian ! Is there 
then no believer of them all who can win down 
from the all-gracious Father, or work up in 
himself, hope enough to secure the conversion 
of one friend ? of one congregation ? of a whole 
city ? of all his countrymen ? of all living men ? 
Really, the promises are not unlimited, and no 
end of hope could make sure of getting them 


Well, then, may it not possibly be a mistake 
to claim that one can himself, through a suffi- 
cient " act of faith," be either at once and 
permanently delivered from sin, or at least 
filled full of the Holy Spirit? Is it certain 
that any one could repeat the success of the 
Keswick exemplar if he would but say, " Lord, 
as I breathe in this whiff of warm nisrht air, so 
I breathe into every part of me Thy Holy 
Spirit " ? Is all which is lacking to any one 
the desire and the confidence with which these 
words were first uttered ? Is it not possible 
that one might say in all faith and loyalty, 
not " I breathe in Thy Holy Spirit," but " I 
ask for this or that gift of the Spirit, and trust 
Thee to bestow or withhold the extraordinary 
blessedness which I seek " ? Might not one 
leave it so and still remain guiltless of hinder- 
ing God, even although he has no confident 
expectation of receiving the spiritual gift 
which he asks for, and, in fact, does not receive 
it ? May not one have faith in Christ because 
he deserves it, and yet not find that God has 
selected him for those rare and radiant graces 
which are like an electric flame that need 
only be turned toward any quarter to fill the 
place with light? 


But, however poor our faith, faith in Christ 
because he deserves it will at length be ours. 
Surely, those who see him as he is, offer him 
no more meagre faith than this. At last faith 
is something not to be ashamed of. What 
he is seen to be irresistibly draws the confi- 
dence of all who know him there. Faith will 
for us no longer be an appeal for forgiveness 
or succor. It will be an embrace and a pos- 
sessing, as love will be a loyalty and a gift. 
But not even love can reveal a higher spirit- 
uality than — 

To Trust Christ because He Deserves it. 

Section IV. — The Social Aspect 

TO Love the Brother, Whoever he is, 
this is the highest Hfe from the point 
of view of human relations. 
It would seem more loyal to Christ, — would 
it not ? — if we loved only the Christ-like. It 
certainly looks like small regard for him to 
hold dear one who bears his name and puts it 
to shame. How does patriotism decide in such 
a cd,se? American history knows one con- 
spicuous traitor. Did our fathers make it a 
point of patriotic duty to cherish the name 
of Benedict Arnold ? The more they thought 
about him, the hotter grew their rage. They 
abhorred him, loathed him, and were eager to 
destroy him. It seemed to them that the 
heavens ought to roar against him, and the 
land of his birth open to swallow him up. 
Patriotism has no tolerance for treachery to 
one's country, and cannot understand a plea 
for tolerance. How, then, can a good disciple 


of Jesus feel other than outraged by the base 
fellow who makes people doubt whether Christ 
is a Saviour, and who turns the Christian name 
into a mockery ? No wonder the writer of the 
Epistle to the Hebrews said of a renewed man 
who sins wilfully, " He hath trodden under 
foot the Son of God, and hath counted the 
blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanc- 
tified an unholy thing." We are driven to 
it; if we love Christ, we must not love this 
man. But is this the rule which Christ gave ? 
When the day of accounting comes, and the 
nations stand right and left, he will say, " Inas- 
much as ye did it, — to the greatest? to the 
one most like me t No, to the least, and the 
unworthiest is the least, of these my brethren, — 
ye did it to me." How can we come up to 
such a rule ? The rule itself shows us how. 
If we are dealing with Christ when we deal 
with a brother, let us look at it so. Has any 
one tried this } And did he find it hard 1 
What is there that one would not do for his 
Lord } What that one would not put up with 
from him? There may be a person in the 
church who has tried his brethren beyond 
endurance. It is a scandal to keep him a 


member. Every one who could naturally try 
has tried to set him right. But it occurs to 
you that you might visit him for once full of 
the thought that you are not now doing this 
for Christ but to Christ. You know you will 
not be welcome. You know you will be met 
by a cold look, maybe by a frown. There 
will be unconcealed signs of impatience, and 
probably an outburst of anger against some- 
body, possibly against you. This bad brother 
will be unpleasant, perhaps insulting. 

The case may be still worse. Perhaps the 
man is hungry because he will not work, in 
rags because he is a drunkard, sick because he 
is vicious, and even imprisoned because he has 
committed a crime. You are ashamed to let 
them know at the jail that you have had any re- 
lations to the wretch. How shameful to have it 
come out that he is a member of your church ! 
But your steady thought is that you are going 
to seek your Lord in the prison ; that it is 
Christ you will bear shame for, take food to, 
and medicine and clothes ; that it will be 
Christ who will tax your patience, scowl at 
your coming and be glad at your going. It 
may be hard to imagine all this, but it will be 


harder to imagine yourself unwilling to do all 
this for your Master, if only you may. Oh, 
this is what he has often had to put up with 
from you. It was he that stood at the door 
and knocked, and you that kept him wait- 
ing, and sometimes would not let him in at all. 
It was you that received him with cold looks 
and was glad when he went. It was you that 
turned the ear from his counsel, and would 
have none of his gifts ; you who said, '* I am 
rich, and increased with goods, and have need 
of nothing," but knew not that you were 
wretched and miserable, and poor and blind 
and naked. And you are willing now that the 
tables should be turned. Your heart is on fire 
to do for that wretched church-member all that 
you may thus do for the Head of the church. 
You will venture anything, if only it may be 
ventured for Christ himself. You have learned 
that Christ-like love is to love the unchristly, 
that it is most lovely to love the unlovable. 

This, surely, is the highest pitch which 
brotherly love can reach. It would seem the 
highest pitch which love for Christ can reach. 
For his sake love undoes itself. Supreme love 


for him makes it possible to love those from 
whom a lower love for him has often bidden us 
turn our love away. And why not let love go 
to this length, since it is thus far that Christ's 
own love can go? When the nations are 
gathered to be judged by their relations to 
Christ, they will find themselves judged by 
their relations to his people. So dear are his 
people to him that the issue turns on how the 
meanest of them has been treated. It is the 
paradox which ever appears in the teaching 
and the life of Christ. If heaven rejoices, it 
is over sinners that repent; if heaven's King 
appears on earth, it is to minister, not to be 
ministered to. And when at length God 
highly exalts him, and gives him the name 
above every name, makes every knee bow to 
him, and bids him decide the destinies of men, 
it is still with the Son of Man as it was on 
earth ; he is acting for ends outside himself. 
What else is fitting in the disciple except to be 
as his Master ? What so exalted for the ser- 
vant as to be like his Lord ? If Christ's own 
life was and is the highest life, then the high- 
est Christian life is to live for ends outside 
ourselves. It is, — 


To DO Right because God Requires it; 
To Trust in Christ because He Deserves it ; 
To Love the Brother, Whoever He is. 

" For none of us liveth to himself, and no man 
dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live 
unto the Lord ; or whether we die, we die unto 
the Lord : whether we live therefore or die, we 
are the Lord's." 






Section I. — Private Paths ^ 

TWO Christian youths were in need of 
counsel, the one scarcely aware of his 
need, the other distracted and dis- 
tressed by it. To the first came an enthusi- 
astic advocate of " holiness through faith " and 
said, " Christ saves us not in our sins, but 
from our sins. Do you believe this ? " " Why, 
yes," said he. " And will you let him do this 
for you now?" "Surely," was the reply. 
Immediately his questioner embraced him and 
said, " You are now delivered from sin." The 
young man could not help but be deeply im- 
pressed, and from that hour held fast an assur- 
ance that Christ is near him and for him. 

The other was yet a lad, and a premature 
Pharisee. Often during the day he was seen 

1 The substance in part of this section and the next has 
appeared in The Watc/wtan. 

102 THE WAY 

to withdraw into a convenient chamber, and 
the household took for granted that they had 
with them a paragon of youthful piety. Years 
afterward it came out that the unhappy boy, 
having heard that a Christian must be much 
in prayer, used often and often to kneel down 
in a dark clothes-press, half smothered by the 
hanging garments, and agonize before God 
because he could not enjoy it. No one asked 
any questions or offered any counsel. All 
took the little fellow to be in this thing a 
pattern for themselves, rather than in sore 
need of guidance from them. A few years 
rolled by, and he was now away from home 
and at school. The old problem still haunted 
him : how could he truly love God and not 
love to spend all his hours in reading the 
Bible and at prayer? His distress became 
unbearable, and he told it at last to the master 
of the school. But the schoolmaster made 
short work of all this perplexity and pain. 
He merely said, " God does not wish you to 
spend all your time reading the Bible and 
praying. He has placed you at school ; he 
wants you to study." And this young man 
too was comforted. 


But how different these cases ! How happy 
that one, how miserable this ! And how widely 
unlike the ways in which they were dealt with ! 
The counsel given to the one led straight to 
" the rest of faith ; " that given to the other 
drew attention away from his inner life, and 
permanently bound him to a lifetime of service. 
Which counsel was correct? What if each 
youth had received the advice given to the 
other? The charge to do faithfully the work 
ready to his hand was not needed by the first, 
but it transformed the second ; and the exhor- 
tation to believe that Christ saves us from all 
our sins could not have solved the younger 
one's problem. New delight in Christ might 
have made it pleasanter for a while to com- 
mune with him ; but nothing could make it 
pleasant to read the Bible and pray all the 
day. The human mind will not consent to 
uniformity of occupation, to monotony of ideas, 
of even the most delightful ideas. Monks and 
nuns have tested it. Insanity lies that way. 
And so by and by it would have been neces- 
sary to teach our boy that his school-books 
were the Bible to which the most of his read- 
ing must be given, and the playground a good 


place to straighten his knees, if he wanted to 
bend them to best purpose in his closet. 

These are typical cases. Their chief inter- 
est is that fixed and opposite bents could be 
given to two lives by half a dozen words from 
a trusted religious guide. Other cases are as 
different. Hence the dire perplexity, if one 
attempts to fit to all sorts of persons the meas- 
ures which have proved suitable for a few. 
This is really so much a matter of course that 
every one will see it, unless perhaps some of 
those who are associated in devoted endeavors 
to deepen the spiritual life. That their at- 
tempts should succeed signally, and sometimes 
as signally fail, ought to be looked for. In- 
dividuals differ, and spiritual gifts differ. The 
Holy Spirit used to distribute his charisms to 
every man severally as he would ; but was there 
not, and is there not, some correspondence 
between what a man is and what can be done 
for him, or through him ? If experience leads 
devout men to believe in measures which have 
proved helpful to themselves, is not experience 
just as significant when it leads others to 
question the universal applicability of these 
same measures? 


One may ride a bicycle across country, 
pedalling laboriously for half a day through 
heavy sand ; and just where the wheeling is at 
its worst, he may come to a smooth, hard, 
sofdy crackling cinder-path at the roadside, 
built there by the associated wheelmen of some 
neighborly village. Here the villagers and 
their visitors may disport themselves with no 
end of delight. The like occurs in the spiritual 
career. Through generation after generation 
one may see here or there a group of Christian 
folk in the enjoyment of helps and happiness 
which are quite local. Elsewhere the people 
seem to move heavily and unblessed. Parti- 
cular graces of the renewed life become the 
specialty of a place. Precisely this occurred 
again and again with monks and nuns during 
the best days of their several orders. It was 
true of the Moravians, and is still pre-eminently 
true of the Society of Friends. No other body 
of Christians attain the same self-mastery and 
equanimity. And the signs are for any one 
who will look. What other old ladies show 
faces so calm and sweet as those that are 
shaded by Quaker bonnets ? I have personally 
witnessed the evidence of similar facts in the 

io6 THE WAY 

life and spirit of a peculiar little sect, whose 
doctrines seemed to me in no way to provide 
for the singular loveliness of their lives. For 
one I am prepared to believe that such a case 
is found at Keswick. The beautiful type of 
Christian experience fostered there may be 
just as much the specialty of the place and of 
the people who go there, say what these good 
people will to disavow it, as a particular kind 
of diet and an ordered way of living are the 
specialty of some great sanitarium. Spiritual 
health-resorts are by no means so preposterous 
as such a name for them would imply. At all 
events, there they are. There have been many of 
them, and their plans are worth looking into, but 
not necessarily worth following in all companies 
and all homes. People differ, spiritual disorders 
differ, remedies differ, and results differ too. 

People drawn together by common idiosyn- 
crasies, longings, and tastes notably develop in 
each other their pet peculiarities. The in- 
fluence in that direction is potent, and often 
extends to susceptible but reluctant persons. 
In the Presbyterian camp-meetings of Ken- 
tucky a century ago, it was common enough 
for godless men who ventured into camp to 


become subjects of those curious physical agi- 
tations which were called " the jerks," and to go 
on flinging their arms and legs like any " young 
convert," while their mouths were filled with 
blasphemy. Now, good men, bent on gains in 
the same kind of goodness, stimulate each other 
prodigiously. It is by no means necessary to 
deny this in order to see that reasonable ques- 
tion may arise as to whether the same charac- 
teristics and the same benefits can be secured 
for every one, or would be well for every one. 
Often these benefits are offered in vain to 
persons differently constituted. How imagine 
that certain ministers could become popular 
and persuasive ? If they are to be made elo- 
quent, they must be made into other men. 
How fancy that ministers who shall be name- 
less could become either genial or winsome, 
let them grieve over their naturally repellent 
ways as much as a good man can grieve for 
what is not a sin ? It would be as hard for 
them to become gracious as to become graceful 
after the free manner of polite society. They 
mourn over it, those unhappy pastors whose 
sheep and lambs seem to have no liking for 
their shepherds. But, on the other hand, do 

io8 THE WAY 

not a few persons we know of seem to have a 
genius for being happy, and for making others 
happy ? Are not some born to live in peace 
and to make peace ? and some equipped by 
nature for power ? I do not see how the 
preachers who enthrall us when they tell how 
high our neglected privileges are, could have 
been uninteresting before they took up this 
theme ; and, so far as I can learn, no one of 
them ever was uninteresting. 

The Spirit of God allies itself to the qualities 
which God gave us by birth. Some people 
naturally revolt at brutal sins ; what wonder if 
as Christians they never fall into these sins ? 
I have known men and women who were con- 
stitutionally fitted for towering piety, and 
many more who were not so. Some have 
an indubitable turn for spiritual-mindedness. 
They are the rare ones. It seems a sort of 
genius. Most men are apt at worldly-minded- 
ness. Is not this what Jesus meant, in his 
parable of the Sower, by the trodden, the 
stony, the thorny, and the good soils, — soils 
variously good, good for anywhere from thirty 
to an hundred fold ? When God set apart 
Paul from his mother's womb, he made him 


Paul, and for Paul's work, not John nor James, 
not Peter nor yet Judas, nor for their work. 
Some can say that to them spiritual things are 
always realities ; others secretly grieve because 
to them spiritual things can rarely seem real. 
I do not know why we should question that 
God gives to different disciples quite different 
aptitudes and quite different graces; or that 
some, no doubt by fault of their own, are left 
almost without any grace. Certain of these 
graces belong as specifically to the intellect as 
other graces to the heart. I know of good 
counsellors, and of good people who are always 
in need of good counsel. " To one is given by 
the Spirit the word of wisdom ; to another the 
word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to an- 
other faith by the same Spirit." What! faith 
especially granted to some, as it is not to others .^^ 
It would appear so, whether we look into the 
Book, or read men's lives. As to all gifts, mi- 
raculous and ordinary, Paul wrote : " All these 
worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, divid- 
ing to every man severally as he will." 

The lessons of experience are distractingly 
diverse, unless we agree that there are private 


paths; let us then notice the teachings of 
Scripture. A favorite text for immediate "holi- 
ness throuQ:h faith " is what Peter said about 
the occurrences when he went to Cornelius; 
namely, "purifying their hearts by faith." 
There was bitter complaint in Jerusalem 
against Paul and Barnabas for baptizing Gen- 
tiles, and the missionary apostles had come to 
Jerusalem " about this question." Then Peter 
said that a good while ago God had chosen 
him to do the very thing complained of in 
Paul. For while the gift of tongues had come 
to circumcised believers only after their bap- 
tism, it was bestowed on Cornelius and his 
friends while uncircumcised and unbaptized. 
The outward sign implied an inward change ; 
and so Peter set up a contrast between purifi- 
cation of the flesh by circumcision and purifica- 
tion of the heart through faith. Thus Peter 
justified Paul. Nothing in the case implies, 
everything in the case excludes, the supposition 
that Peter had in mind not only a regenera- 
tion which broke the power of sin, but also a sub- 
sequent though early sanctification, which had 
already before their baptism purged all sin from 
the hearts of Cornelius and his companions. 


The same apostle used the same terms in 
his first general epistle : " Seeing ye have 
purified your souls in obeying the truth 
through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the 
brethren." Was Peter telling the "strangers 
scattered through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, 
Asia, and Bithynia" that they had each and all 
made what in our day is regarded as the 
rare attainment of " holiness " and the " ful- 
ness of blessing " ? 

What Scriptural basis is there for the pro- 
posed distinction, on our part, between sinless- 
ness and a complete dedication of ourselves to 
God, to which God, on his part, responds by 
filling us full with his Spirit? What entire- 
ness is there in the self-dedication, if one still 
yields to temptations? If the self-dedication 
never gives way to temptation, wherein does it 
differ from sinlessness ? Or, for God's part in 
the matter, how call that a fulness of the Spirit 
which leaves the soul haunted by a proclivity 
to sin ? Where are distinctions like these 
drawn for us in the Book ? Where are we 
told such a contradiction as that we cannot 
be actually sinless, yet we need not sin ? 

And where are we instructed to resolve 

112 THE WAY 

never to sin again in all our lives? Where 
enjoined to form such a focus of determina- 
tion ? How can one intelligently make a reso- 
lution like that ? How imagine that one could 
thus control his future? Who could know 
how ? I do not see that this act of self-dedica- 
tion in advance, however useful to some, is 
contemplated for all, or is ever provided for in 
the New Testament. It seems to me to be an 
entirely extra-scriptural notion, and subject to 
the error in which we are almost certain to be 
involved when we owe our religious doctrines 
to inference from experience, instead of to the 
plain teaching of the Book which is wiser 
than we. 

In a brief but valuable exposition by the 
Rev. G. Campbell Morgan of " The Keswick 
Teaching " we read that it is only after " the 
surrender of the entire being to him [God] and 
simple faith that he will perform what he is 
able and has promised," only after this act of 
our own that " the Spirit purifies and then 
takes full possession of the whole being, flow- 
ing into every avenue of the life, illuminating 
and energizing, and that the soul so purified 
and possessed need no more actually commit 


wilful sin." Again, that "this is not finality. 
. . . The Holy Spirit actually in possession 
of his own is now unhindered in his blessed 
work of transforming us into the likeness of 
Christ ; " and finally, that " Christian service 
begins here and should only be attempted 
thus."^ If now we are to accept these state- 
ments as safe for guidance, where is the 
authority for this last position that, until we 
have attained to this rare and exalted state, 
we cannot do any good to others, and we 
ought not to try ? " Christian service begins 
here and should only be attempted thus ! " 
What persons then did the gracious Spirit 
employ in converting most of us? Was it 
not average fathers and mothers, average 
Sunday-school teachers and average pastors ? 
It must have been average men and women, 
or there is no such thing as an average. 
Surely no one will pretend that he is a com- 
monplace Christian who possesses all the lofty 
attainments heard of at Keswick. 

But we have not yet lit upon the ways which 

1 Exactly What Is Meant by " Northfield and Keswick 
Teaching,^^ by Rev. G. Campbell Morgan, — a tract, fourth 
page, — Fleming H. Revell Co. Also by same author, The 
Spirit of God, p. 227. 

114 THE WAY 

can be recommended to all as ways of reaching 
the highest life. These that we have been 
peering into are indeed beaten paths, but they 
are private paths. They lead along fair glades 
and through inviting groves ; they wind among 
sumptuous fountains and beds of dazzling 
flowers ; but the place looks like a private 
park. The gates are thrown open ; but what 
warrant is there that we would all find our- 
selves at home here ? We must at least ask 
whether there are not highways unmistakably 
public, and an open common, which, though 
it may not be so beautiful, is wholesome, sun- 
bathed, shaded too for sultry days, and belongs 
to us all. 

To summarize the conclusions thus far 
reached concerning the way into the highest 
life, and to state them as explicitly as possible : 
It is the testimony of experience, of experience 
illustrated in the case of prophets and apostles, 
as well as enforced by their teachings, that 
differences by birth involve differing spiritual 
types ; that God's grace does not annul this 
divers,ity, and that measures helpful to some 
are inappropriate to others. This native and 


permanent diversity extends to every element 
of the religious life, and expedients to improve 
that life must to some extent vary accordingly. 
Thus it is matter of common observation that 
entire races of men, as well as individuals of 
the same race, are strikingly unlike in moral 
sensibility, with the result that individuals and 
races tolerate in themselves moral delinquen- 
cies which would shock other individuals and 
races. An individual, a race, or a generation 
may be stolidly indifferent to spiritual realities 
to which other persons or other times may be 
quite awake. Curious disparity appears in 
temperamental capacity for enjoyment, or for 
the equanimity which is necessary to wisdom. 
Conspicuous enough is the dissimilarity in 
fitness for social ties ; that is, the qualification 
to love and be loved is as glaringly unlike in 
different people as their stature, complexion, 
or features. Such differences never entirely 
disappear, are only modified, as physical differ- 
ences can be modified. To obliterate them 
would be to undo the fact which, more than 
any other except rationality, characterizes 
mankind, and which civilization emphasizes; 
to wit, men's capacity for infinite variety. 

ii6 THE WAY 

It follows that the graces which charm us 
in some good Christians are virtually unattain- 
able for others. It is equally clear that meas- 
ures suitable to develop existing capabilities 
or to correct known defects, must differ as 
foods and medicines differ. " What is one 
man's meat is another man's poison " is but 
a homely statement, the analogue of which is 
that the spiritual nourishment and the spiritual 
medicament useful to some individuals are 
disastrous to others. Nothing could well be 
more misleading than to infer from the pre- 
eminent spiritual charm and power of a few 
gifted and saintly persons that what they are 
all others might be, or that what they believe 
" made them to differ " could be used to make 
us all alike. 

Warned away, then, from a conclusion often 
carefully fostered, but which has proved hurtful 
and disheartening, we turn to inquire whether 
there are not paths which may lead us one and 
all into that highest life which all can believe 
in, — a life for objects outside ourselves, for 
objects which may be found in a God to obey, 
a Christ to trust, a brother to love. 

Section II. — Public Highways 

PATHS open for all lead toward the goal 
of the highest life. One is himself the 
Way, the Truth, the Life. Whatever 
the methods for reaching the goal, he is the 
only means. Our problem is how, in valid 
sense, to walk in him as the Way, think ac- 
cording to him as the Truth, be animated by 
him as the Life. I am not about to propose 
any novelties ; but the most familiar measures 
of the new life take on a special significance 
in their relation to the highest life. 

If the first to be considered is an abundant 
use of the Bible, the chief value of the Bible in 
this connection is not as a lamp to our feet. 
Information as to what to do and not to do is 
not what we most require from the Bible as 
a help toward the best living. Nor is it incen- 
tive which we need from its pages. I take it 
that, to one who is entering the higher stages 
of Christian living, the Bible is chiefly valued 

ii8 THE WAY 

as a means of intimacy with his Master. 
Whether life in Christ is a mystical union or 
not, here at least is no mystery. Jesus told his 
disciples, " I have called you friends : because 
all things that I heard from my Father I made 
known to you." When one opens his heart to 
a friend he gives decisive evidence that he 
wishes for intimacy. Hence the disgust at 
such openness when intimacy is not welcome. 
Our Lord makes an overture of this kind to 
us. He is intimate with his Father, he desires 
to be intimate with us ; and he carries his 
wishes to the length of making one intimacy 
the measure of the other. He tells us what- 
ever his Father tells to him. He thus seeks to 
make us intimates of his Father too. And 
when the time came that he could no longer 
talk with his disciples, then he sent to them 
One who could speak for him, and who would 
tell them all about him. The new relation 
was to be of the same sort as the relation about 
to be given up. " All things that the Father 
hath are mine : therefore said I that he shall 
take of mine and shall show it unto you." Our 
Friend is still bent on sharing with us his 
Father's heart, and would even force us into 


this place by revealing the secrets of the 
Father's breast. 

Now, whoever communes with Christ in 
reading his Book has a deeper delight in this 
communion than in any special profit to him- 
self from the reading. What could Christ give 
which would be equal to the privilege of his 
intimacy or which would not come with in- 
timacy ? Here, I think, is explained the de- 
light which the best disciples take in reading 
their Bibles. Now and then they seem to hear 
a quite new message from their Lord. The 
Spirit is guiding them into truth. But higher 
still is the value which any secret, however 
simple, has, if it is breathed by one loving heart 
into another which is its best beloved. It 
need not be for the sake of fathoming the deep 
things of God, for quite likely no ambition of 
that kind is felt by the loving disciple. And 
it need not be anxiety to learn just what to do ; 
because the Bible is not a book of precepts, 
and the good disciple is not often greatly at a 
loss about his Lord's will in matters of conduct. 
It is the voice of Christ that the disciple de- 
lights to hear. Christ begins it, you see, tells 
his thoughts to his friends, and he that would 

120 THE WAY 

belong to that inner circle must ever be listen- 
ing for the Master's voice. 

A second method of coming into the closest 
relations with him who is the Way, Truth, and 
Life, is by meditation. Meditation is not solv- 
ing problems in theology. Meditation is con- 
templation. It is a steady gaze at its object, 
as people in picture galleries gaze through a 
roll of blackened tin, or through their nearly 
closed fist; until the painting seems to have 
atmosphere, and all the objects in it stand forth 
to tell their meaning. 

Meditation is as variously useful as a vision 
of spiritual things must needs be. It is espe- 
cially adapted for stimulating, for steadying, 
and for making wise. By it a new affection 
becomes expulsive, and an old affection is 
fixed. One of the commonplaces of moral 
science of which the utmost use is made in 
these days, a practical matter which is looked 
at as of deep philosophical meaning, is that 
the direct way to bring one's life under con- 
trol of the noblest motives is to turn attention 
to the objects which one ought to prize. 
Every one knows how perilous it is to dwell 


on that which he ought not; and happy they 
who have learned something Hke the full use 
of thinking often and steadily about what they 
ought. It was Paul's prescription to his be- 
loved Philippians. All that he had to say he 
rounded off with this : " Finally, brethren, 
whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things 
are honorable, whatsoever things are just, pure, 
lovely, of good report ; if there be any virtue, 
and if there be any praise, think on these 
things." I can find no other sure meaning in 
Paul's familiar account of himself, " To me to 
live is Christ," except that love made thinking 
about Christ, and thinking made love to Christ 
and service of Christ, the absorbing employ- 
ment of his life. There is no substitute for 
meditation. It is the most invigorating of 
heart-tonics. And the stimulation is not 
quickly spent. It is not like a spur; it is 
more like blood transfused, or like a medicine 
which is also a food. The aspirant for the 
highest life must " think on these things." If 
he does, he will find in thinking of them a zest 
which increases with familiarity. 

Rare and beautiful is the grace of unswerv- 
ing steadiness of soul. Mr. Greatheart is 

122 THE WAY 

needed in every company that "goes on pil- 
grimage." Reflection on the highest certain- 
ties is what keeps the courage high and the 
spirit serene. Affliction is light and works a 
weight of glory ; we faint not, though our out- 
ward man perish, providing we look at the 
things which are not seen. This was Christ's 
own way. For the joy set before him he 
endured the cross, and so we are to look unto 
him. A firm and quiet spirit will surely be 
the ornament of an attentive and thoughtful 

The way of thoughtfulness is the way of 
wisdom too. No small responsibility falls to 
the share of any who are obviously well ad- 
vanced in Christian living: people come to 
them for counsel in spiritual things. The 
service is so delightful to render that a deal 
of bad counsel is risked. So often and so 
deeply delighted at seeing truth as he had 
never seen it before is the man who lives in 
the fear of God, that he is by and by tempted, 
especially if often resorted to for advice, to 
overweening and presumptuous confidence in 
his opinions. To be free or relatively free 
from fault seems all one, as already mentioned, 


with being free or relatively free from error. 
Thoughtfulness, meditation aloof, is needed to 
make and to keep him wise. Inconsiderate 
judgments even by the really sanctified are 
likely to be foolish judgments. It is a sad 
thing to have the reality of high spiritual 
attainments clouded by an unwisdom, a wit- 
lessness, at which the light-minded laugh and 
the true-hearted grieve. The wisdom which 
cometh from above is pure and peaceable, and 
it is not hasty nor vain. 

It would seem almost needless to mention 
prayer as a third measure indispensable to the 
highest spiritual attainments, if it were not 
that some who " seem to be pillars " tell us 
how they made their great step forward when 
they ceased to pray, and merely said, " I 
accept." Now looking to God for benefits is 
the very essence of prayer, and it is likely that 
they are so looking and really praying when 
they think they have given over prayer. But 
there is risk in ceasing expressly to ask. It 
may not be as safe as some think to give up 
asking for forgiveness. Although Paul did 
not know anything against himself, he did not 

124 THE WAY 

conclude that God knew nothing against him. 
" I am conscious to myself of nothing ; yet am 
I not hereby justified, but he that judges me 
is the Lord." Who should think there can be 
no sin in him to forgive because he is aware of 
none ? He may be unaware because his sins 
are too subtle for dull eyes to detect. It may 
even presumably be that he particularly needs 
forgiveness because he feels no need. 

The opposite mistake is to assume that, 
unless we pray specifically for the Holy Spirit, 
other prayers will avail us little. This point is 
often pressed much beyond the Scripture's 
teaching. We must be particular, they say, to 
make it prayer for the Holy Spirit, or else our 
prayers for the Highest Life will somehow go 
astray and miss their mark. Now it is the 
Holy Spirit himself who helps our petitions, 
even when " we know not what to pray for 
as we ought." The groanings which we can- 
not utter, the heart-rending desires which we 
cannot define, these the Spirit understands, 
because they are his own intercessions for us; 
and he makes that intercession according to the 
will of God. If, then, we would be right before 
God, or if we would be lights in the world, 


do we have to make sure that our minds are 
fastened precisely upon this, not Christ as 
our hearts' desire, but the Holy Spirit as our 
strength ? This is dangerously like a merely 
mental act, or salvation by dogma, and that 
not a scriptural dogma. 

Fourthly, for the Highest Life nothing Is 
more indispensable than Christian labor. This 
is taught in the most explicit way by our Lord. 
He unfolds at large the relation of intimacy in 
which he would remain with his disciples. It 
should be organic, vital, like that of a vine to 
its branches. But almost every verse in that 
wonderful passage tells us that the branches 
are in the vine for the sake of fruit, and will be 
allowed to remain there only on condition of 
fruit-bearing. So shall we be Christ's disciples, 
and so shall his joy be in us, and our joy be 
full. Work, work, work, this is health and 
growth and life. 

The happiness which work assures is not 
the dominant aim, but it is an accompaniment 
of the best living. The greatest of modern 
philosophers, Emmanuel Kant, held that to do 
right is the supreme good, but declared that 

126 THE WAY 

it was not the highest good. Righteousness 
with happiness is the highest good. This, he 
thought, is the demand of the practical reason, 
the conviction, we w^ould say, of good sense. 
The permanent misery of the righteous would 
be the permanent confusion of the moral uni- 
verse. It is a view in which we instinctively 
acquiesce in spite of fear lest too much be made 
of happiness. Nothing can dissuade the normal 
mind from a conviction that the highest Chris- 
tian living must be the happiest living. When 
happiness is extraordinary, the life hidden with 
Christ in God gets the credit of unusual vigor ; 
and when happiness fades away, that divine 
life seems to be waning too. Now, there is 
only one source of enjoyment, and that is 
activity. Exercise, voluntary or involuntary, 
conscious or unconscious, is the indispensable 
and exclusive cause of pleasure. But powers 
unemployed begin with causing discomfort, 
and end in ease only when they end in 
atrophy. What is rest but active repair of 
wasted tissues ? What are amusements but 
devices for cajoling us into acting with all our 
might ? Action and always action is the con- 
dition both of well-being and the sense of well- 


being. If, then, there is any significant tie 
between the Highest Life and the highest 
happiness, and we cannot persuade ourselves 
that there is not, there is as significant and 
close a bond between the Highest Life and 
the activity which is not only the sign but 
the source of this health. 

The way to the Highest Life is at its 
culmination in activity for others than our- 
selves. Such activity belongs to its very 
nature. If so, it ought to yield the liveliest 
joy; and so it does. To be sure, such labor 
is often intrusive. This strikes us perhaps 
unpleasantly when we think of imitating the 
best exemplars. Unselfish devotion to their 
fellows impels them to many a risk of rebuff. 
I recollect reading some years ago in a New 
York newspaper a tart complaint from a newly 
arrived German. As soon as he set foot on 
our shores an impertinent tract distributor had 
thrust a tract into his hand, saying a word to 
him about his soul and eternal interests. Per- 
haps our immigrant did not feel sure that 
he had a soul or a future ; certainly he wanted 
no stranger to meddle with them. Years ago 
a man used to go up and down the canals 

128 THE WAY 

in Chicago, speaking to people he had never 
met, about matters which they did not care to 
hear of from him. He was meddlesome with- 
out doubt; but he meddled to such purpose 
that he grew famous as a meddler. They had 
him to other cities and into the churches. 
Though not ordained a minister he was pres- 
ently found meddling with pastors and people, 
and few could resist him. Those who worked 
with him had to give up their plans and 
fall in with his plans. He was heard of 
beyond the seas. He meddled with Glasgow 
and Edinburgh, with Manchester and Birm- 
ingham, with Liverpool and London. He 
even crossed to the continent and meddled 
as much as he could with Paris and Berlin. 
People said he was intrusive, but admitted that 
he had his ,way. His great, tired frame has 
lately been laid to rest ; but now that his work 
is done, no one dreams that it cost that remark- 
able man Moody any spirituality or happiness, 
nor that it lowered the grade of his usefulness 
to men that he interfered with them. 

I heard of a runaway along the principal 
business street of the city where I was a stu- 
dent. The horse ran on the sidewalk, dragging 


his driver, who had become entangled in the 
reins. Men and women darted into doorways 
and stairways to escape the risk to themselves, 
and to avoid seeing what would happen the 
next moment to that poor man. All felt that 
it was no affair of theirs. All but one, who 
was on the other side of the street, and who 
hurried across, seized the horse, and clung to 
him, every man knows at what risk, until he 
had got him into the carriage-way, and across 
the street, and stopped him there. And when 
the deed was done, the man who had done it 
stood all pale and trembling, like the one whose 
life he had saved. It was an heroic thing to 
do ; but it was not his business. It was a thing 
to be proud of, to tell of, and be asked to tell 
again, to his children and his children's chil- 
dren ; but it was none of his business. All the 
other men and women there saw that it was 
none of their business ; but he made it his 
business, and he saved a man's life. Oh to 
risk something, something of sensibility, of sen- 
sitiveness, of more than sentiment, for the sake 
of grappling with life's runaways. Oh for 
something to do at cost to ourselves, if we may, 
for the sake of service to some one not our- 


130 THE WAY 

selves. Oh to live for others, for Christ, for 
the gospel of God's grace, for men, because in 
men alone we can do what God would have us 
do, and in them find Christ himself within 
reach of our service. It is the highest life and 
the happiest, but its happiness is not in self- 
seeking. It is in that which makes such a life 
the highest; it is in living always for objects 
that are outside ourselves, for God and duty, 
for Christ and men. 

The Book and meditation, praying and toil- 
ing, these are the open highways to the Highest 

Section III. — The Issue's Issue 

THE reader may properly ask what is 
the net outcome of this discussion ? 
It is at least believed to be that we 
are in a position to estimate the truth and 
error in the various schemes for deepening the 
spiritual life. We are able, or ought now to 
be able, to account for the baffling and be- 
wildering alternation of successes and failures 
which have thus far attended every special 
project for winning the highest prizes of the 
Christian's calling. Such an alternation piques 
interest and at the same time discourages en- 
deavor; it both enkindles hope and arouses 
suspicion. To straighten out the tangled lines 
of experience and opinion is of no small mo- 
ment ; and unless we can do so, this present 
attempt to bring eager souls into accord by 
offering a view of the highest life which all 
can accept, will turn out to be one more con- 
tribution to the confusion and disheartenment. 
Yet even if our case is as bad as this, it may 
in the end prove to be what every previous 

132 THE WAY 

attempt has proved, a step clear of some earlier 
entanglements, a step planted a little further 
upon firm ground. 

The Keswick platform, as we have seen, is 
free from objections to which earlier platforms 
were open. The general objections which hold 
against it lie also against all the rest, except 
the quite antithetic doctrine of the Plymouth 
Brethren. This latter has perhaps been sufH- 
ciently considered; it is not now especially in 
evidence, while the Keswick views and plans 
alone hold a large place in the attention and 
respect of our devouter church members. This 
is due to the attractiveness of its leaders, the 
moderation of their claims, and in this country 
to the conspicuousness which has been afforded 
them by their association with Mr. Moody. 
The Keswick "movement," having for the 
Protestant churches displaced the other move- 
ments, alone needs to be specially considered 
in this summary, especially as it presents a 
defect, as before noted, common to them all. 
This pre-eminent defect may now be estimated. 

The radical difference between the highest 
life as herein set forth and that fostered at 


Keswick is that the one is distinctly positive 
and active, the other predominantly negative 
and passive. The highest life, as we have 
seen, consists in obedience Godward, faith 
Christward, love man ward. In the Keswick 
view the one positive fact to be dealt with is 
sin. Known sin, it is urged, vitiates the piety 
and dwarfs the usefulness of many who earn- 
estly try to be useful. To put down sin, a 
negative result, seems the pre-eminent need, 
and calls for all the activity which is prescribed 
at Keswick. And this activity is only prelim- 
inary. It is but the disciple's preparation of 
himself for God to act upon. The culmina- 
tion of the Keswick aims, the specialty and 
crown of the processes there prescribed, is 
the "infilling of the Spirit;" and this infilling 
demands from the postulant a studied and 
scrupulous passivity. 

Now this negativeness is a shortcoming 
which has always marked not only the per- 
fectionist schemes in general, but the quiet- 
istic and other forms of mysticism in particular, 
and in the end has proved their undoing. 
Under the sagacious and temperate leadership 
which has thus far distinguished the Keswick 

134 THE WAY 

movement from all its predecessors, and espe- 
cially with its growing purpose, as seen in this 
country, of turning all spiritual gains to the 
advantage of other men, that is, of regarding 
the use of spiritual gifts rather than the enjoy- 
ment of them as the highest phase of spiritual- 
ity, it would seem reasonable to hope that the 
Keswick movement may escape the disasters 
which hitherto have never failed to visit all 
concerted and continuous efforts to attain 
high spirituality through measures believed to 
be happily devised for this purpose. It is by 
no means intended to charge upon these dis- 
tinguished and useful Christians the deficien- 
cies in character which the deficiencies in their 
avowed system might lead to ; but " things 
follow their tendencies," and it is indispensable 
to show to w^hat in this case they tend, to what 
in less happy cases they have led. The place in 
the Keswick scheme of negative aims and of 
passivity appears in the proposed relations with 
God, with Christ, and with the Holy Spirit. 

I. So far as the highest life is a relation 
with God, every right-minded Christian appre- 
ciates and shares the outpourings of Hebrew 


piety concerning God's law. The devout 
Chalmers said that his habitual mood was 
expressed by the words of a psalm, " My soul 
breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy 
judgments at all times." But the defect of 
Keswick negativeness appears both in its rule 
and its motive with regard to obedience. 
" Avoid all known sin " is not the same as 
" Do right because God requires it." The one 
is negative, the other positive. It is a charac- 
teristic result, against which the Keswick dis- 
ciples need to be on guard, that to adopt the 
negative maxim is to measure duty by one's 
own moral obtuseness, and to be satisfied then 
is a moral dereliction; while to follow the 
positive maxim is to measure duty by the ideal 
constitution of man and the all-perfect nature 
of God, and never to be satisfied. 

To succeed in avoiding all known sin would 
not be a proof of the highest life. Christians 
only a little above the average, in some cases 
unmistakably below the average, are easily 
satisfied with their course of life, while the 
moral sense of men and women not so good 
as they is far from being satisfied with them. 
I am afraid that worldly people sit in judg- 

136 THE WAY 

ment on church folk, and there is no gain- 
saying the verdict when they condemn the 
self-satisfied. It is further still from the best 
life to be contented with one's inner state. A 
mere babe in Christ feels so. He thinks he 
will never sin again. He abhors sin. His 
gorge rises at it. But none too soon he learns 
what a delusion it is to fancy that freedom 
from all known sins is freedom from all sin. 
It was the miserable mistake which Paul de- 
scribed : "I was alive without the law once; 
but when the commandment came, sin revived, 
and I died." The seventh of Romans often 
follows the eighth. Conflict succeeds to vic- 
tory. The campaign is lifelong. To-day the 
word is, " I thank God through Jesus Christ 
our Lord ; " to-morrow it may be, " Wretched 
man that I am ! Who will deliver me ? " To 
deny this is to out-Calvin the outermost Calvin- 
ists ; these contend for no more than that God 
will rescue his own from their backslidings, 
while we would be saying that the advanced 
Christian will never backslide. 

No candid and kindly observer is blind to 
the serene graces in many a mature Christian 
which are wanting, though sensibility enough 


is present, with the babe in Christ. But in 
both cases the liabilities are a good deal alike. 
They may be even graver for the veteran than 
for the recruit. Both are extremely liable to 
place undue confidence in confidence. To feel 
safe is not all the same with being safe, either 
for ostriches that hide their heads, or for men 
who shut their eyes. A special, subtle, and 
sometimes notorious peril for those who seek 
to be sanctified is the temptation to hush one's 
own conscience, to hold fast the sense of 
freedom from sin only by refusing to take 
blame to oneself for what is blameworthy. Of 
all mistakes it is the most hurtful to oneself 
and to a repute for special sanctity. It is no 
less than disloyalty to God, disloyalty the more 
grievous because it goes to the length of an 
attempted self-deception on that very point. 
A merely negative interpretation of one's duty 
Godward — namely, that it consists in freedom 
from known sin — must not be accepted as a 
correct account of the highest life. 

Nor is any negative motive adequate for the 
best results. The Keswick programme does 
not prescribe any motive. It begins: " i. Im- 
mediate abandonment of every known sin and 

138 THE WAY 

doubtful indulgence." But the Bible is specific 
enough about motives. The only sufficient 
motive to obedience which the Bible knows is 
love. Lower motives may lead up to riddance 
from " every known sin and doubtful indul- 
gence." A motive adequate for self-correction to 
this extent is sometimes found in a desire to be 
right, in a weariness of the struggle with temp- 
tation and a longing for peace of mind, or in an 
eagerness for success in pastoral labors. These 
motives are not unpraiseworthy. They are 
widely felt, and are effectively appealed to, 
though no motive is enjoined in the writings 
and the addresses of Keswick leaders. Like a 
hardened sinner's fear of hell, they may be 
motive enough to begin with, enough to lead 
to higher motives ; but they are not sufficient 
for the Highest Life. Love alone is " the ful- 
filling of the law." How immense, how very 
positive, the requirement ! " Thou shalt love 
the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with 
all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all 
thy strength." Such a motive is itself the soul's 
highest attainment Godward, the complete ful- 
filment of its purely Godward obligations ! 
How meagre any lower and nameless motive 1 


The life, then, which follows the Keswick 
directory in its Godward relations without 
deviation, but without enlargement of its 
scope, may be, and to observation often is, a 
beautiful and holy life ; but it is not, and can- 
not be, the Highest Life. In its Godward 
relations the Highest Life is actual righteous- 
ness because God requires it ; and the only 
motive to perfect obedience is the heart's un- 
swerving and positive loyalty, love to God with 
all the energy, and in every variety, of which a 
moral being is capable. 

II. In its relations to Christ the type 
of life recommended at Keswick is curiously 
defective. It will not, I think, be denied, that 
the highest faith toward Christ is faith because 
he deserves it. But a faith which in the name 
of Christ seeks deliverance, or peace, or power, 
is trust in him not really for his sake, but for 
one's own sake. At no other spiritual crisis ex- 
cept at coming into the new life, and it would 
not hazard much to say that, as to a majority 
of present day conversions, not even in enter- 
ing the new life, is longing for benefits to 
oneself so accentuated as in the search for spirit- 


ual good which the Keswick teaching stimulates 
and sfuides. Not that such desires and faith are 
wrong. We do well to "covet earnestly the best 
gifts ; " yet there is " a more excellent way." 
The ideal faith, like the ideal love, is a free 
response to the worth of our Lord. 

This deficiency, suggested by comparison 
with the Highest Life, is made more impres- 
sive by a fact or two which seem to the student 
of Keswick aims and measures like a singular- 
ity that needs accounting for. This fact, for 
example : of the seven possible degrees the 
second alone refers in any way to Christ; and 
this degree or step is only a preparation for 
the final and passive reception of the Holy 
Spirit's infilling. It has been charged upon the 
Plymouth Brethren that they exalt too exclu- 
sively the work of Christ in its legal relations, 
and by consequence neglect, if they do not dis- 
parage, the work of the Holy Spirit in its vital 
relations. The exact reverse, it would seem, 
might be alleged against the Keswick plat- 
form. Even if its singular disregard of Christ 
is but an inadvertence, such an inadvertence 
tells of the prevailingly negative character of 
the Keswick scheme. 


The impression of a strange lack is not 
lessened when we duly weigh the nature of the 
only relation to Christ that finds mention in 
the Keswick platform. This platform, as will 
be remembered, prescribes the steps of approach 
to the highest life. As given in an earlier 
form,-^ the relation to Christ is the sixth step, 
and is emphasized ; but as given in a later 
form from the same hand,^ it is but the second 
step, and has the peculiar character to which 
attention must be called. It runs thus: "2. 
Surrender of the whole being to Jesus Christ 
not only as Saviour, but as Master and Lord." 
In some other connection these words would 
not seem amiss ; here they are unhappily sig- 
nificant. They introduce a favorite Keswick 
term, " surrender." " The surrendered life " 
seems to be the Keswick type of the highest 
life. But surrender is a mere negation. It 
may even reach the pitch of a true denial of 
self ; but when the issue is between positive and 
negative relations to Christ, what is needed is 
not so much denial of self as assertion of 
Christ. Devotion, not submission, is his right 

1 Dr. A. T. Pierson in The Story of Keswick^ pp. ']^ and 89. 

2 In the circular appeal of thirty-three persons " To all who 
love our one Lord," etc., p. 2. 

142 THE WAY 

and our duty. Real lordship is lordship over 
our active powers. Christ's reign is over 
hearts. As Peter puts it, " Sanctify Christ as 
Lord in your hearts" (R.V.). Love, let it be 
remembered, is the mightiest of human im- 
pulsions. It defies loss, torment, and death. 
It is by no means a mawkish sentimentality. 
It is the most mascuHne of energies, the most 
capacious of motives, mightiest in the mighty. 
Love holds out where all else fails, and con- 
quers every conqueror. I repeat, not passive 
surrender to Christ, but active devotion to 
Christ, is the informing principle of the highest 
life. This, surely, would have been a plank in 
the Keswick platform if the minds that built 
the platform had not been taken up with in- 
filling of the Spirit as the true goal, and had 
not rated every other element in the Christian 
life by its worth as a preparation for receiving 
this supreme gift. 

How far a surrender to Christ falls short of 
accepting him on his own terms we may know 
from that word of his : " Abide in me and I in 
you." This does not sound like " Surrender to 
me." And Paul says, " Christ is our life." 
Lordship pales before life. The pagan gods 


may be lords, " as there are gods many and 
lords many," but no pagan ever dreamed that 
his god was his life. How immeasurably 
larger is anything worth calling a life in Christ 
than that submission to his lordship which 
forms the second step in the Keswick plat- 
form, and which is the only notice that plat- 
form takes of Christ ! Paul wrote to the 
Romans, " The law of the Spirit of life in 
Christ Jesus set me free from the law of sin 
and death " ; are life and freedom only a sur- 
render ? To the Corinthians he wrote, " If any 
one is in Christ he is a new creature ; " is it a 
negation to be newly created ? His words to 
the Galatians were startling : " I have been 
crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but 
Christ Hves in me; " the terms mean that Paul 
has perished, and Christ lives in his place, but 
does Paul mean that the life of Christ in him 
leaves him thenceforth no place anywhere? 
To the Philippians his very definition of life 
was Christ : " To me to live is Christ." To the 
Colossians he sent an assurance, " Your life is 
hidden with Christ in God," and a promise, 
" When Christ, our life, shall be manifested, 
* then will ye also be manifested with him in 

144 THE WAY 

glory ; " he even says, " We are risen with 
Christ ; " does the resurrection of Christ repress 
and crush us, or does it animate and trans- 
figure us? 

Some follower of the Keswick movement 
will surely take this criticism to be a dis- 
paragement of his leaders. It will seem to 
make them deny that life in Christ is positive 
and active, and to his mind will even imply 
that they are living without Christ. Now no 
mistake or misunderstanding could be more 
unwelcome to the writer; but there is one 
which could be more hurtful to the reader, and 
that would be to mistake the graces of the 
Keswick saints for the merits of the Keswick 
system. A shrewd observer says he never 
knew a successful man who could explain his 
own success. Here the suggestive, the essen- 
tial fact is that the published pla^i for achieving 
the highest life barely mentions Christ, pre- 
scribing only a negative relation to him, a 
surrender, and that too as but the second out 
of seven steps. The highest life proposed by 
this plan is not a life in Christ, but a sheer 
" infilling of the Holy Spirit," — a state which 
is five high steps above the required relation 


to Christ. This slighting of Christ may be 
inadvertent, but it is actual, and is germane to 
the objects avowed. Once more we witness 
the strength of a tendency never yet escaped 
by specialists in sanctification, — a tendency to 
reduce spirituality to a passive submission, to 
set up as the ideal a wholly indefinable " infil- 
ling," and to make every other interest bend to 
this interest. Let us briefly turn our gaze as 
full as we may upon this dazzling goal. 

III. A relation to The Holy Spirit is 
beyond doubt an element in the highest life. 
As it is the one factor on which the Keswick 
circle sets a supreme value, so to many other 
people it is an object of fascinated wonder. 
With the verdict upon this single point every- 
thing special in the Keswick pretensions will 
stand or fall. So exclusively special, so all- 
important, is the infilling that only those who 
have shared it are allowed to take part in the 
Keswick conferences. 

Now, when Paul would not have the Cor- 
inthians ignorant concerning spiritual gifts, 
the point he seems most solicitous about is 

to assure them that they all share those gifts. 


146 THE WAY 

For although they were at one time all carried 
away to dumb idols, now they are all led by 
the Spirit to say that Jesus is Lord. The en- 
tire chapter insists that, various as the gifts are 
in different persons, they are all from the same 
Source. As he tells the Romans, " If any one 
has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." 
So far, the ordinary and familiar doctrine is in 
harmony with Paul's teaching. That current 
doctrine is that the Spirit, by whom we are 
born again, abides with us always ; that the 
relation thus begun provides for all spiritual 
gifts; but that, as in the case of every other 
companion, it depends on ourselves in large 
part how far this Companion's voice is heard 
and his help used. The Keswick doctrine, on 
the contrary, is that, after a prodigious activity 
in preparing himself, the Christian passively 
receives an infilling which is not included in 
the gift of the Spirit at the new birth, and can- 
not be secured except in a special way. When 
we had occasion to notice those doctrines of 
sanctification which no longer receive general 
attention, it was enough to mention the par- 
ticulars in which experience had shown them 
to be at fault. But we are now to decide about 


a living and vigorous doctrine. It is still 
before the court of experience. Trials in that 
court last long ; and if, before judgment is 
rendered, we are to make a provisional test at 
all, this to the minds of its adherents must be 
done by the Scriptures. The strain of the 
inquir}^ is almost painful. It will not stop short 
of the issue whether the admired men of Kes- 
wick, incited and warned by the confusing and 
disappointing claims of earlier perfectionists, 
have at length found concealed in Scripture 
the secret of a transcendent privilege hitherto 
undiscovered and unused, a treasure hidden in 
a field, which eager souls have surmised might 
be there, but could never find, nor make sure 
was there. Do the Scriptures, then, prescribe 
a special preparation for a special infilling 
which is to be received in a passive state ? 
The problem is evidently threefold : as to i, 
the special filling; 2, the special, preparation; 
3, the passive reception. 

I. As to the infilling. The terms "full of 
the Holy Spirit" and "filled with the Holy 
Spirit" undoubtedly suggest a relation much 
closer than the ordinary relation. They m.ight 

148 THE WAY 

naturally be taken to mean that human nature 
could receive no more. Such a condition 
would indeed be extraordinary, if not altogether 
unexampled. Whether these terms are so 
tense with meaning may easily be tested by aid 
of a concordance, or of the late Mr. MacGreg- 
or's faithfully compiled " The Things of the 
Spirit." What shall we find first; what one 
accustomed to the Bible's statements would 
expect, — namely, that the words " full " and 
" filled " are sometimes used in a qualified 
sense; as when Paul tells the Roman Chris- 
tians that they are " full of goodness, filled with 
all knowledge." Did he mean that they could 
not be better, nor know more ? In looking 
over the texts which speak of certain persons 
as "full of the Holy Spirit," one can hardly 
believe that these persons had all reached the 
limit of their capacity. The reader catches 
rather the idea that these persons, either habit- 
ually or on special occasions, received not the 
largest possible, but a larger measure of the 
Spirit's influence than other persons knew or 
other occasions required. 

And to what end ? To every end except the 
end contemplated by the Keswick programme. 


On no occasion is it clear that any one of these 
persons was endued by the infilHng of the 
Spirit with the highest spirituality. There in 
the wilderness, when the tabernacle was to be 
made, were Bezaleel and his fellow metal- 
workers, gem-cutters, and wood-carvers of cun- 
ning hand, "filled" with the inspiration of 
clever artists; and there on the plains of 
Moab, when the task of Moses had been com- 
pleted, was Joshua, " full of the spirit of wis- 
dom," for Moses had laid his hands on him. 
In the hill country of Judea, ages afterward, 
there was Elizabeth at Mary's salutation prophe- 
sying, and a little later her husband recovering 
his speech to prophesy too. And there was 
John, their son, full of the Holy Ghost from his 
mother's womb, quite a man apart for a service 
apart in every way ; and Jesus also, after John 
baptized him, filled by the Holy Ghost, for his 
mission, I suppose, was led into the wilderness 
to be tempted. And then the common people, 
disciples in great numbers, who spake with 
tongues at Pentecost; who, when Peter and 
John were let go, prayed for signs and won- 
ders to make them bold, and the place was 
shaken, and they all spake with boldness; and 

150 THE WAY 

at Antioch in Pisidia too, where the devout 
women and chief men had Paul and Barnabas 
expelled out of their coasts, while " the disciples 
were filled with joy and the Holy Ghost." 
And Stephen and the rest of the seven, spirit- 
ual and wise to disburse the church's dole ; 
Stephen, when they stoned him, full of divine 
vision and words of forgiveness as divine. We 
find Peter in the fulness of the Spirit opening 
the gospel to the rulers in Jerusalem ; and Bar- 
nabas sent forth from Jerusalem to look into 
matters as far as Antioch, who at what he saw 
was glad, good man ; a man full of the Holy 
Ghost and faith, who exhorted much and, best 
of all, set Saul of Tarsus at the work of his 
apostolate. Saul himself, at an earlier day, 
waiting for Ananias to lay hands on him, that he 
might recover sight and be filled with the Holy 
Ghost ; and that same Saul (now also called 
Paul), filled with the Holy Ghost, setting his eyes 
on Elymas, full of all subtlety and mischief, 
that the sorcerer might lose his sight and go 
about for some one to lead him by the hand. 

We find these cases ; and these are all the 
cases mentioned when men were filled with 
the Holy Spirit except one, and that one was 


not a case of actual filling, but an exhortation 
to be so filled, instead of drunk with wine. Of 
all the infillings, real or recommended, this is 
the only one which suggests any unequivocal 
gain in spirituality. " Be not swept by drunk- 
enness into rioting, but inspired by the Spirit 
with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." 
The exhortation points to some more becom- 
ing happiness than merriment over wine-cups, 
but does not hint at the peculiar, climactic 
"infilling" under discussion. It is certain 
that in not one among all the biblical refer- 
ences to fulness of the Spirit, unless by bare 
possibility the obviously unique cases of John 
the Baptist and our Lord, is the infilling rep- 
resented as an exaltation of him who receives 
it into a special kind of living, as distinguished 
from a qualifying of him for special service. 

If, then, some one prefers to take these 
illustrations of spiritual gifts as a pledge to 
modern Christians of similar helps not for 
" life," but for service, this assurance may be 
accepted with circumspection. To accept it 
without reserve as thoroughly applicable now 
would be to do precisely what mystics have 
ever presumptuously done. They have always 

152 THE WAY 

been persuaded that the spirit of prophecy 
belonged to them, and in consequence have 
sooner or later set up their own authority in 
favor of an extension or emendation of the 
doctrines which are derived by common con- 
sent from Holy Writ. In this particular the 
rationalist or Hicksite Friends and the polished 
adherents of the New Theology are at one 
with the old-time mystics from Montanus to 
Swedenborg. But if we do not see in these 
New Testament occurrences miracles now re- 
newed in our behalf, yet find in them none the 
less an assurance that the Holy Spirit is the 
constant ally of the church, the ever present 
substitute of Jesus with each one of us for 
companionship, for championship, for good 
counsel and strength to meet our constant 
and our changing needs, according to the 
welcome we give him, then we may claim for 
our belief the undisputed and faithful promises 
of the Book and the unceasing Amen of the 
Christian centuries. From the outpourings 
and infillings mentioned in the Acts it may 
be safe to infer that the Holy Spirit will ac- 
cord to us, as he accorded to the early church, 
special aid in special cases; but it is quite 


another thing to infer that nothing special can 
be accompHshed through the ordinary opera- 
tion of the ever indwelling Spirit. It is from 
an unwarranted assumption of the latter kind 
that almost all the fanatical and mischievous 
extravagance of opinion and of conduct in 
connection with this subject has sprung. 

2. As to special preparation for the Spirit's 
infilling, it should be enough to say that a 
requirement of this sort is entirely wanting in 
the New Testament. The Keswick platform 
lays down six conditions for an infilling of the 
Holy Spirit. They have already been stated 
in full, but may be recapitulated as follows : 
I, abandonment of sin; 2, surrender to Christ; 
3, acceptance of God's help; 4, mortification 
of "the self-life;" 5, change of disposition; 6, 
separation unto God for sanctification and 
service. It is plain that, if there is any gift 
of the Holy Spirit which can be made sure of 
only when these exacting conditions have been 
fulfilled by human wills, that gift must be far 
from commonplace in character, and far from 
common in experience. No one can fail to 
see that these would be great steps to take. 

154 THE WAY 

No one can know that they have not many a 
time been taken. But we do know that the 
New Testament never in set terms plants so 
portentous conditions as these in the way of 
the best gifts. God does not hinder his Spirit 
all that he properly can. He gives the Spirit 
ungrudgingly. He does not exact from us a 
complete self-conquest before he will himself 
arrive with a blessing. We may assert with 
absolute certainty that Jesus did not so hedge 
his promise when he foretold the coming of 
the Comforter. If he had done so, we would 
now be orphans indeed. Or, if not orphans 
all, then so many of us that the Church without 
the Comforter would, like the world, be lying 
in the Wicked One, and the bride of Christ be 
fit only to be divorced from her Lord. Kes- 
wick professes great deference to the Bible. I 
own to a feeling of wonderment when I read of 
steps which the Bible does not prescribe leading 
to a blessing which the Bible does not offer. 
The sentiment with which history meets such 
adventures in extra-biblical doctrine and 
practice is not a sentiment of hope and cheer, 
but one of apprehension and despondency. 
Now, while the two dominant elements in 


the Keswick scheme, the infiUing and its con- 
ditions, appear to me entirely unwarranted by 
the Bible, and supported only by inconclusive 
experimental proofs, it is quite within the 
Bible's teaching that a carnally minded Chris- 
tian repels the influence of the Holy Spirit. 
Nevertheless, if he is really a child of God, 
God does not forsake him ; and if the Holy 
Spirit ever becomes his familiar Counsellor 
and Friend, he will not have " received the 
Spirit by the works of the law, but by the 
hearing of faith." The Holy Spirit, we may 
be sure, all the while does the best he can with 
us. It is he, and only he, not any preliminary 
operation of our own wills, that " makes us free 
from the law of sin and death." Yet it remains 
for us to inquire whether we are but passive 
under his transforming touch, merely " broken 
and empty vessels " to be filled from that 
exhaustless fountain. 

3. A passive reception of a supreme gift of 
the Spirit would be entirely in line with an 
operation so indescribable and indefinite in 
character as that Keswick infilling. At this 
final point the characteristic deficiency of the 

156 THE WAY 

Keswick teaching is particularly marked. 
Passivity is emphasized. It is scrupulously 
insisted that " sanctification is not by the law." 
What Chalmers called " the expulsive power of 
a new affection " is allowed an uncertain office ; 
yet holiness, they say, cannot come by love 
toward God on the Christian's part, but solely 
by the direct operation of the Spirit upon the 
soul. The most adequate statement about the 
required passivity, so far as my reading of 
recent writers goes, is the following quotation 
from the report of an union meeting in Oxford, 
England, — the meeting afterwards held in 

" The part of the clay is to be put into the 
potter's hands, and to abide there passively. 
The potter must do all the work. The clay 
cannot make itself into a beautiful vessel, 
neither can it help to do it : it must lie pas- 
sive in the potter's hands and know no will 
but his, and he will then mould and fashion it 
by his own skill into just such a vessel as he 
sees fit. . . . Our part is simply in faith to 
abandon ourselves to his working, — which is 
what consecration implies, — and then trust 
him to do it all." This is admirable in spirit. 


It even sounds well ; but it is not the teaching 
of the New Testament. The New Testament 
never teaches by so much as one word that the 
Holy Spirit enters the heart of a Christian 
when he finds the door held open, and then by 
main force subdues sin or infuses righteous- 
ness. The New Testament nowhere teaches 
that, in receiving help from God, the soul of a 
believer is passive, merely acted upon. Christ's 
own word for it is, "Sanctify them through thy 
truth. Thy word is truth." The accepting 
and using of truth is our act. Paul's paradoxi- 
cal exhortation is as complete an account of 
what takes place as we can hope for : " Work 
out your own salvation with fear and trem- 
bling. For it is God which worketh in you to 
will and to do of his good pleasure." He 
exhorts the Romans, " Yield your members 
servants to righteousness unto sanctification " 
[R. V.]. His description of their estate is, 
" Now, being made free from sin, and become 
servants to God, ye have your fruit unto sancti- 
fication." His word to Timothy is bolder and 
more explicit still : " If one cleanse himself, 
. . . he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, 
useful for the master, prepared for every good 

158 THE WAY 

work." It would be easy to continue inde- 
finitely the citations of passages which assume 
or say that the believer has a part with the 
Holy Spirit in his own sanctification ; these 
given ought to be enough. 

But the most decisive consideration is drawn 
from the fact that, according to our Lord, the 
Holy Spirit is not sent on errands of his own, 
he is not to speak of his own affairs, but to 
"testify of Christ." All that the Father has is 
Christ's ; therefore Christ might well promise, 
as the utmost the Spirit can do for us, " He 
shall take of mine and show it unto you." 
Display of all that God has given to Christ 
implies no mere passivity on our part, but alert 
attention, lively appreciation, eager acceptance, 
and energetic use. The mark which we are to 
press toward is the prize of our high calling in 
Christ Jesus. The Keswick doctrine is depart- 
ing strangely from the Scriptural representa- 
tion of the Holy Spirit's place, though it is 
now more guarded on this point, when it puts 
the Spirit in the place of Christ as an object of 
longing, of trust, or of love. It is " the law of 
the Spirit of life in Jesus Christ " which makes 
us " free from the law of sin and death." And 


if we are to " reckon ourselves to be dead to 
sin," we are also to reckon ourselves "alive 
to God in Christ Jesus." If in any valid and 
good sense we are dead, it is because " our life 
is hidden with Christ in God." Christ, not 
the Holy Spirit, is the Way, the Truth, the 
Life. Only Christ is Christianity. 

Now in teaching that faith does its utmost 
when it does nothing but passively accept a 
mystic infilling of the Holy Spirit, the Kes- 
wick teachers exhibit an anomaly that makes 
one wonder. They would exalt the ofiEces 
of the Holy Spirit, and the Bible is never out 
of their hands ; yet they make no clear ac- 
count of the fact that according to the Bible 
the all-inclusive office of the Spirit for human 
souls is to minister the truth. If we are be- 
gotten again, it is by the word of truth; if 
we are sanctified, it is through the truth ; if 
we help others, it is by sharing with them the 
ministry of the truth ; and the " truth as it is 
in Jesus " is the pre-eminent instrument of the 
Spirit. By this means all is done which can 
be done for us, or through us. By the truth 
the mind is informed. Through true ideas 
the heart is purified and warmed. By clear 

i6o THE WAY 

views of life's proper aims the energies are 
evoked, the will directed. Intellect, sensibility, 
will, all the powers a human soul has, are 
animated and regulated by the Holy Spirit's 
ministration of truth. We have no other 
faculties for him to act upon, no other powers 
for him to employ ; but these powers and 
faculties he makes use of in this way, and, so 
far as we have means of knowing, in this way 
alone. When, therefore, the Spirit of God has 
brought us into obedience to Christ, what 
more can that alleged mystic infilling do? 
The New Testament suggests nothing fur- 
ther; an absolutely true and everywhere ac- 
cepted account of man's faculties excludes 
everything further. Nevertheless, the anoma- 
lous Keswick teaching insists that, as a sheer 
supplement to all attainments in intellect, 
heart, and loyalty to Christ, the Holy Spirit 
adds an occult "power," for which there is 
really no lodging-place, no storehouse in the 
human soul, no supplemental faculty to work 
through. Inevitably this notion, when fixed, 
issues in making the Holy Spirit, instead of 
Christ, the object of trust and desire. 

It is safe to say also that the doctrine which 


makes the Holy Spirit alone active, for the 
sake of exalting his work, in making man 
passive disparages the work of the Spirit. 
What we need is to have all our powers fitly 
engaged. Conduct follows choice ; choice 
selects a motive ; the Holy Spirit can give 
force to motives. We need from the Spirit 
so engaging a view of Christ that we will 
choose Christ. A theory which denies to 
man all share in making himself holy denies 
the Holy Spirit's most important share in this 
work. Of course, if a Christian man's sins 
were due to demoniacal possession, to the 
entire mastery of his faculties by a malignant 
power without the man's acquiescence, then 
a benign power would have to cast the demon 
out without the man's co-operation. As the 
case stands, it surely is not the Spirit's office 
to suppress a Christian's powers, but to enlist 
them for Christ. Thus the Spirit himself is 
honored; for his highest office is thus per- 
formed. Faith must work by love, but it must 
work. To make a renewed man passive in 
spiritual gains is both morally impracticable 
and spiritually undesirable. 

i62 THE WAY 

The discomfiture of so many well meant 
endeavors is pitiful to record. The Keswick 
scheme now has the field practically to itself. 
What it can achieve is yet to be put beyond 
dispute, and such a test cannot be hurried. 
Many generations have sought to elaborate a 
theory and formulate a process of that Chris- 
tian living which would be unequivocally the 
best and attainable. I trust that the story of 
those ventures, and the charting of the rocks 
on which the ventures have gone to wreck, 
will also be accepted as at least well meant. 
The story is indeed as friendly as a flaring 
beacon lit in the night, or a doleful bell tolling 
somewhere near by in the impenetrable mist. 
It is but an unpretending service to tend the 
beacon and toll the bell, a lonely and dismal 
service ; but it cannot well be spared. If any- 
one thinks it is not needed, it will be those, 
alas ! who are afloat and in danger. 


How anomalous the state of facts! The 
customary conviction that the Holy Spirit 
abides with all believers and aids them when 


they are ready to be aided, is accepted on every 
hand as true so far as it goes ; whereas the 
ideal presented at Keswick is not the highest, 
and the measures proposed want Biblical sup- 
port. And yet the churches are deficient in 
spiritual power, while the Keswick leaders, at 
least, are eminent for spiritual-mindedness and 
spiritual helpfulness. Many are ready to say 
of them, as one who afterward became a leader 
among them said, " They have something which 
I never had." The objections have been 
stated ; but to what do they owe their success ? 

We may assure ourselves that their merits 
are not due to their mistakes. We need be 
imitators of no man except as he is the imitator 
of Christ. Now, these good men have con- 
spicuously met the two Scriptural conditions 
of spiritual gains ; namely, faith and fidelity. 
A man's spiritual rank may be soberly judged 
according to " the measure of faith." " We 
have access through Jesus Christ by faith into 
this grace wherein we stand," whatever that 
standing is. Fidelity also is a measure of 
spiritual gains. This is a distinctive teaching 
of our Lord. More than one parable stated 

1 64 THE WAY 

that he who had been faithful with Httle should 
be rewarded with more, or what to the mind 
of our Lord was the same thing, to him that 
hath shall be given. Unfaithfulness is fatal ; 
*' Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he 
taketh it away." Faithfulness is rewarded with 
more to do : " Every branch that beareth fruit 
he purgeth it that it may bring forth more 
fruit." If the Keswick men are of notable 
faith and faithfulness as they seem to be, their 
notable piety and usefulness also are accounted 
for as fruit of obeying the Bible's requirement, 
and need no occult or unusual explanation. 

Experience also affords us light. The good- 
ness in these men does not guarantee the 
goodness of all that is in them. And what is 
this but the story of every good man's life ? 
Who is faultless ? or knows everything } or 
docs all the good which he sets out to do ? 
Can we learn nothing whatever from these 
sagacious saints of modern type, because they 
happen to lay stress on what we hardly believe 
in } Why, then, we shall be hard to suit with 
teachers ; or, what is worse, it will not be safe 
for us to learn from anybody, since every 


teacher who thinks is quite sure to be wrong 
about something. 

Another illumining fact of experience is that 
sanguine people always take a new idea for 
more than it is worth, and are sure to press a 
new method beyond what it will bear. A 
promising theory cannot be started in science 
but foolhardy scholars will bank on it, and risk 
their all in a " wild cat " venture with it. No 
new theory of disease and cure can be proposed 
but medical men will adopt it offhand with a 
confidence equalled only by their want of con- 
fidence in older theories and practice, until, as 
a distinguished physician remarked, the only 
good that can come of their zeal is that we 
know all the sooner how much or how little the 
new remedy is worth. The most astounding 
political movement in modern history, the 
French Revolution, began with a boundless 
enthusiasm for political speculation. This 
enthusiasm started among scholars and aristo- 
crats and spread through all ranks, gave the 
revolutionary armies strength to turn back the 
armies of Europe, gave Napoleon, who set up 
for the leader in modern politics, the resource 

1 66 THE WAY 

of an inexhaustible French fidelity to ideas ; 
but it drenched every place of execution with 
the blood of the noblest Frenchmen, appalled 
the world with the spectacle of the Red Terror, 
next at its own danger, and in the end left 
Europe exhausted by the effort to withstand 
French ideas fired from cannon, charging on 
horseback, and driven home with bayonets. 
The story of every largely planned campaign 
for higher living is much the same story over 
again. New notions awaken boundless ex- 
pectation, stir people to extraordinary effort, 
half intoxicate them with spiritual ecstasies, 
but bring in their train disappointment so 
bitter, disaster so frequent, that by and by the 
churches are glad to forget that these projects 
were ever advocated and tried. The familiar 
strategy and tactics may not be so brilliant, 
but are easier to understand, and their defeats 
easier to survive. The ardor of the Keswick 
movement has not worn itself out. The move- 
ment is fresh and novel to the multitude. 
Especially as transferred to Northfield, and 
modified there, it claims a degree of attention 
and sympathy quite unprecedented in America. 
But if the movement long survives, this will be 


a new thing in history. It will be due to 
sleepless watchfulness against fanaticisms, and, 
what is more important, against extravagance 
of claims hardly amounting to fanaticism ; 
above all, it will be due to an unsparing sur- 
gery which cuts out all detected gangrene of 
unbiblical error in doctrine, aim, or plan. The 
undeniable success of the movement thus far 
it owes in part to the blaze and iridescence 
with which, like a new and glorious sun, it 
is dawning on ingenuous minds. 

A final fact, very helpful toward understand- 
ing the success of the Keswick movement, is 
that for many persons life normally advances 
by crises. Some are happy in a calm and 
nearly uniform development ; but it is the dis- 
tinction of others that their lives embrace long 
periods of unnoticed preparation, like the quiet 
gathering of volcanic forces, which end in 
earthquake and explosion. These souls know 
that something has happened to them, and 
they have something to tell about. But the 
critical change in a few cases may be as swift 
as an avalanche, and yet soft as the gentle fall 
of snow from the skies. The crisis has arrived; 

1 68 THE WAY 

the crisis has passed. The result is manifest 
to all, and invites belief that the only normal 
progress in character is by long graceful leaps 
and bounds. As well insist that the only true 
method is to advance at a snail's pace, or, 
slower still, to grow as plants grow. The Kes- 
wick people seem to have passed through 
notable crises, oftener quiet than violent ; if 
other Christians are almost as exemplary as 
they, then there are some very good Christians 
who never knew a crisis, who hardly became 
aware that they were born again, but merely 
found themselves alive, and who have grown to 
their present height without " growing pains." 
Some, indeed, whom all their brethren praise do 
not venture to believe that they are growing. 
There are no pencil-marks on the door-casings 
to measure spiritual growth by, and they have 
never tried those carefully thought out gym- 
nastics of the Keswick school, which make a 
good many spiritual athletes feel stronger 
every day. They are farthest of all from 
claiming to have reached the highest life ; but 
that life shall yet be theirs ; and all things 
present and to come are theirs, for they are 
Christ's, and Christ is God s. To serve God, 


to be upheld by him, and to know something 
about peace with him, this is even now their 
lot, and they would not exchange it for every- 
thing beside. 

Now the God of peace, that brought again 
from the dead our Lord fesus, that great Shep- 
herd of the sheep, through the blood of the ever- 
lasting covenant, make us perfect in every good 
work to do his will, working in us that which is 
well pleasing in his sight, through fesus Christ ; 
to whom- be glory forever and ever. Amen. 




HOWEVER obvious the disproof by experi- 
ence of the claim that all graces and attain- 
ments are open to all Christians, some will 
stand by the claim. Against all odds they will have 
one defence : every refutation not only from the gen- 
eral teaching of experience, but from detailed study 
of the Bible, they will still meet with the challenge, 
" Have we not the promises?" It is a challenge not 
to be evaded. We must consider whether indeed 
they ''have the promises." 

The promises of the Bible hold good for those who 
received them, but not for us, unless, from the nature 
of the case, they are applicable to us. Most readers 
of the Bible take the opposite for granted ; namely, 
that every promise holds for everybody in absence 
of proof that it does not. But when between men 
one makes a promise to a second, a third does not 
think it is made to him unless he can prove that it is. 
Can any one give a reason why the Bible's promises 
should be outside this rule? They were given to 
ancient persons; does it not need proof that they 
apply also to modern persons? In most cases 

1 Mostly reprinted from The Examiner. 


reasons for accepting the promises are abundant and 
obvious. Perhaps this is why we fall into the way 
of thinking that they are so in all cases. But it is a 
mistake. Before we can claim a promise we must 
find a sufficient reason, obvious or obscure, to justify 
our claim. Too many devout souls blame themselves 
because the promises are not fulfilled to them. There 
are evils, they think, which, like a certain kind of 
demons, come not out but by prayer and fasting; 
and so these good people are convinced that they 
have not tormented themselves enough with self- 
denial, or forced the hand of God by a sufficient 
strain of faith. Is it not worth asking whether, after 
all, they have not been laying hold of promises never 
intended for them? 

It is clear that the New Testament does not set 
forth its promises in the laboriously and obscurely 
precise terms of a written contract. They are always 
plain, often boundless. For example, *' Whatsoever 
ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it 
you ; " " If ye ask anything in my name, I will do 
it." But was there ever a Christian who found either 
promise invariably fulfilled without qualification? 
Jesus accepted a limit to the fulfilment of his own 
prayers : " Not my will but thine be done." Such 
a limit shuts off from fulfilment no end of prayers. 
Jesus knew that it would prevent the fulfilment of the 
prayer which he persisted in. Paul prayed without 
recollecting, so far as his account goes, to say, " Thy 
will be done." He prayed thrice that the " thorn " 
might be drawn from his flesh; and the thorn 
remained. The promises, while unHmited in form, 


were not unlimited in fulfilment. The scope of a 
promise was, " Ask what you please ; " the scope of 
the answer was, " I give what I please." I ask notice 
to three promises limited in fulfilment, although not 
limited in form. The limitation in each case is to 
persons, but also more or less in objects. 

First, no limit in time is set to the promise that the 
Holy Spirit would guide the disciples into all the 
truth. No limit is mentioned of persons to be so 
guided. In form it is a promise to all times, as 
much as to those times, a promise of new revelations 
now, if then. But it was a promise to those eleven 
disciples ; how show that it was intended for others 
than the eleven? Certainly Paul claims that abso- 
lutely new truth was given to him ; if any one claims 
that new truth is promised to us, he must show the 
insufficiency for us of the revelation in Christ nineteen 
hundred years ago ; also what his new truth is ; 
finally, that what he takes to be such is both true and 
new. It might be as hard to prove that new revela- 
tions would be desirable as that they are actual. If 
to all the turmoil of conflicting interpretations of the 
old revelation had to be added the incessant weighing 
of claims set up for new apostles and new prophets, 
we would need not only that ancient gift of " discern- 
ing the spirits," but still more the warning laid, be it 
remembered, upon the eager prophets themselves: 
"Let all things be done decently and in order." 

A second promise, repeated many times and in 
various forms, is the promise that miracles would be 


granted to faith. No time limit was set to miracles. 
In form this promise holds to-day ; but it was actually 
given to persons of an ancient day. What ground 
can we show for taking it as a promise to us also? 
Unless we can show ground, it must not be extended 
to any beyond those who heard it. We need not 
shiver at Hume's reproach that Christian doctrines 
are so absurd that miracles were needed to prove 
them true. Christian doctrine shines by its own 
light. Yet I submit that, manifestly true, upliftingly 
true, savingly true, as is the doctrine that God might 
fitly provide redemption through his Son, still it 
would have been unwarrantable in the last degree to 
accept any man, to accept even Jesus, as the Christ, 
unless this supernatural person came with super- 
natural attestation. Many think to deliver Chris- 
tianity from taint of superstition by disclaiming 
miracles for Christ; but it would be the wildest super- 
stition to believe in a Christ without miracles. Yet 
this attestation once given supremely in our Lord's 
resurrection, it was thenceforth well for the world 
that miracles should cease. Christianity must not 
become a gazing-stock. Use must not stale the very 
significance of the miracles. They must not, like 
the loaves and fishes, take the place of toil, and by 
undermining industry destroy civilization and virtue 
itself. Much as they were needed at first, it is impor- 
tant that miracles should not recur until the sun of 
this dispensation draws near its setting. 

Why, then, take to ourselves the promise that the 
prayer of faith will save the sick? Why reproach 
ourselves with the fact that our prayers do not save 


the sick? Is there any fitness in pulling the blanket 
of this promise over our shivering faith ? Such occur- 
rences were needed for a time, but could be borne 
with even for a time only at cost of disadvantage so 
serious that Jesus over and over charged those for 
whom he had wrought his wonders not to spread the 
tale abroad. Let us not forget that it was the raising 
of Lazarus which precipitated the determination 
of our Lord's foes, and led Caiaphas to give his fatal 

Thirdly, the promise that the Holy Spirit would 
give " power " to the preaching of apostles was ful- 
filled for them once and abundantly. No one should 
wonder that zealous preachers, who are devoted with 
all their hearts to the saving of men, attempt to get 
the same power in the same way. No wonder that, 
consecrated, single-minded, endued with the Spirit 
as they are, owing so much to the Spirit as they do, 
they venture to apply the same promise to all 
preachers, to extend it to the entire Church. But 
how can we justify a claim that the promise of one 
extraordinary Pentecost amounted to a promise of 
innumerable Pentecosts? How justify a virtual infer- 
ence that the " diversity of gifts " has come to an 
end, and that in our day all can be " apostles, proph- 
ets, teachers," preachers eloquent as Spurgeon, or 
leaders masterful as Moody? If certain of us have 
become mighty ministers, very many more of us, to 
whom the mighty ones have told what they consider 
the secret of their power and have set forth the steps 
by which they climbed to such heights, many more 


attempt the same process with faith and devotion, but 
fail as completely as happier souls have succeeded. 
There seems to be a limit to man's control over God. 
We are responsible for accomplishing such tasks only 
as he has laid on us, and for the fulfilment, too, of 
such promises alone as we may and ought to claim, 
and are able to show that we can claim, for ourselves. 
Those who humbly and reverently disclaim all share 
in their own distinguished successes, who cry down 
their own abilities and cry up the work of the Holy 
Spirit in them, for the sake of giving hope to their 
fellow-preachers, these honored brethren would be 
doing the rest of us but kindness if they bore in mind 
that the fall from high hopes is a hard fall ; that 
superb examples are disheartening if we are told to 
emulate them but cannot, and that promises misap- 
plied are hurtful in proportion to the vastness of what 
they offer. 

But there is one invitation to prayer wide enough 
for us all always : '* Be anxious for nothing ; but in 
everything by prayer and supplication with thanks- 
giving let your requests be made known unto God." 
We may at least tell our desires to God, and be kept 
by his peace. 



Activity of highest life, 133, 

Antinomianisni, 34, 36. 
Asceticism, 79. 
Assurance, 21. 

Baptism of Spirit, 21. 

Battersby, Canon, 42. 

Bible, as to perfection, 10; 
Higher Life, 22; Brethren- 
ism, 34, 37; Keswick view, 
50 ; self-dedication, in; 
how helps, 117; promises, 

Calvinist perfectionism, 20. 

Christ, deserves faith, 82; 
shows faith, 86 ; as judge, 
93; how served, 93, 96; 
the Way, 117; intimacy, 
118; in Keswick scheme, 


Christian perfection, 13. 

Cochran, Thomas and Wil- 
liam, 16. 

Conceit of power in prayer, 
27; of wisdom, 28 ; of sanc- 
tity, 137. 

Consecration, 20, loi, 11 1. 

Crises of growth, 167. 

Diversity of gifts, 6$, 104, 

107, 115. 
Duty, natural, 71 ; to God, 73. 

End of being, 73. 

Experience, a test, 4, 13, 17, 
22, 24, 26, 35, 47, 58, S7, 
loi, 117, 135, 165, 167. 

Fairchild, President, 14. 

Faith, range, 82 ; a criterion, 
84 ; not hope, 85 ; heavenly, 
91 ; for the sick, 86, 176. 

Fanaticism, 29, 36. 

Finney, President, 15, 17. 

Fulness of Spirit, 46, 48, 51, 

ss, 112, 147, 153. 

Gnosticism, ii. 

Goal of life, 65. 

God, requires right, 70, 135 ; 

a criterion, y^. 
Graces differ, 107, 115. 
Guy on, Mme., 47. 

Happiness, 125. 

Helps and hindrances, 3. 

Higher Life, 20 ; Calvinistic, 
20; special state, 21; not 
biblical, 22; tested by ex- 



perience, 22, 27, ']'] ; merits, 
30, 67. 

Highest Life, normal, 7 ; false 
views, 9, 14, 20, 31 ; its goal, 
65 ; moral aspect, 70 ; re- 
ligious aspect, 82 ; social as- 
pect, 92 ; positive, 133, 157. 

Holy Spirit, work of, 3, 21, 
29, 45, 48, 51, 55, 65, 108, 
112, 124, 145, 153, 158, 175, 

Infilling of Spirit {^sce Ful- 
ness of Holy Spirit). 
Issue's Issue, 131. 

Jerks, the, 107. 
Jesuits, 47, 50. 
John's teaching, 34, yj . 
Joy, 125. 
Judgment, last, 93. 

Keswick Movement, history, 
40 ; aims, 42; steps, 46, 153 ; 
tested by experience, 46, 58, 
'^'j^ 114, 164; merits, 59, 66, 
d-j, 132; defects, 60, 133 : 
fails, 90, 165 ; its type, 106; 
passivity, 133; as to God, 
134; Christ, 139; Spirit, 
M5> 155; problem solved, 

Law and life, 7, 68, 73. 
Local helps, 105. 
Love of brethren, 92 ; highest, 

Magnetic men, 56. 

Mahan, President, 15. 

Meditation, 120. 

Methodist view, 9, 20. 

Meyer, F. B., 45, 48, 51. 

Ministerial success, 51 ; aspi- 
ration, 107. 

Miracles ended, 175. 

Monasticism, 47, 49, 79. 

Moody, D. L., 29, 42, 50, 128, 

Moral difference intrinsic, 71 ; 
relation to God, 72. 

Morgan, G. Campbell, 29, 112. 

Mysticism, 47, 133, 152. 

Native differences, 107, 116. 
Negative sanctification {see 

Northfield Movement, 29, 42. 
Novelties overtrusted, 165. 

Oberlin Perfectionism, 14. 

Paradox resolved, 162. 

Passivity, 133, 155. 

Paul's teaching, 12, 24, 34, 37, 
49, 65, 69, 121, 143, 145, 
148, 157- 

Pentecost, 45, 149, 177. 

Perfectionism, Wesleyan, 9 ; 
not discussed in Bible, 10; 
discredited by experience, 
I3> I7» n\ Oberhn phase, 
14; origin, 15; peculiarities, 
16; effects, 18; forgotten, 



Peter's teaching, 49, no, 142. 

Pierson, A. T., 44, 46, 141. 

Plymouth Brethren, 31 ; his- 
tory, 33 ; views, 33 ; tested 
by Bible, 34 ; by experience, 
35, ^-j ; merits, 38, 67. 

Power by infilling, 51, 56, 177. 

Prayer unanswered, 86, 1 73 ; 
discarded, 123 ; needed, 
123; for Spirit, 124. 

Private paths, loi. 

Promises limited, 173. 

Public highways, 117. 

QuiETiSTS, 47, 133. 

Regeneration, 17, 33. 
Revelation closed, 175. 
Revivals, 53. 
Romanist view, 20, 47. 

Sanctification, 9; by truth, 


Second blessing, 21. 

Sensibility, not Keswick fea- 
ture, 44; fostered by Quiet- 
ism, 47 ; peril from, 79. 

Shifted selfhood, 31. 
Shortcomings, 3. 
Simplicity of moral action, r6. 
Sinless perfection, 9, loi. 
Smith, R. Pearsall, 40. 
Social element, 92. 
Spurgeon, C. H., 41. 
Steps prescribed, 46, 141, 153. 
Surrendered life, 141. 

Trust for Christ's sake, 82 ; 

for favors, 83. 
Truth instrument of Spirit, 


Unitarianism, 31. 

Way to highest life, loi ; 
private, loi ; public, 117. 

Wesley, John, 26. 

Wordsworth, W., Ode to 
Duty, 76. 

Work is service, 102; ele- 
vates, 125; makes happy, 

Youths, typical, loi. 



Historical Geography 
of the Holy Land 

Seventh Edition. With Scripture Index and Six Colored 
Maps, specially prepared. 8vo, cloth, 730 pages, $4.50 

... No one work has ever before embodied all this variety of material 
to illustrate the whole subject. His geographical statements are pen-pictures. 
We are made to see the scene. No important problem is untouched. With- 
out question it will take its place at once as a standard work, indispensable to 
the thoroughgoing student of the Bible. — Sunday-School Times. 

... An exhaustive collection of material lay outside the plan of the author. 
His intention is rather to show how the history of the land is conditioned by 
its physical structure. It is thus the idea of Karl Ritter which rules the treat- 
ment and presentation. Very comprehensive sections are concerned, not with 
the history, but with the nature of the land. . . . The author pays special 
attention to the military operations. One could sometimes imagine that an 
officer is writing, who, above all, regards the land from the point of view of the 
military strategist. In this connection especially the history of Israel in its 
chief crises in Old Testament times receives striking illumination. Large pas- 
sages are frequently quoted from the Old Testament in order to explain them 
by tile exhibition of their geographical background. In addition the author 
has a special gift of vivid representation. He makes the history transact itself 
before the eye of the reader in dramatic form. One sees, everywhere, that the 
landscapes which he describes stand before his own eyes. Thus the book is 
an extremely valuable means of aid to the understanding of the history, espe- 
cially of the Old Testament. — Prof. SchUrer, of Kiel, in the Thiol. Litera- 

The book is too rich to summarize. . . . The language is particularly well 
chosen. Few pages are without some telling phrase happily constructed to 
attract attention and hold the memory, and we often feel that the wealth of 
imagery would be excessive for prose were it not that it is chosen with such 
ap|iropriateness and scientific truth. ... To the reader much of the pleasure 
of perusing the volume comes from its luxurious typography, and the exquisite 
series of orographical maps prepared by Mr. Bartholomew froni the work of 
the Survey. These maps alone are more suggestive and enlightening than 
many treatises, and they are destined, we trust, to enliven many a sermon, and 
turn the monotony of the records of Israelitish wars into a thrilling romance. — 


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The Book of Isaiah 

In Two Volumes. Crown 8vo, cloth, $1.50 each. 
Volume I. Chapters I.— XXXIX. 
Volume II. Chapters XL. — LXVI. 

This is a noble volume of a noble series. Isaiah will ever be the cream of 
the Old Testament evangelistic prophecy, and as the ages go on will supply 
seed-thought of the Holy Ghost which grow into flowers and fruits, vines 
and trees, of divine truth for the refreshment and nourishment of the intellect, 
heart, character, and life. Ho7v can any pastor or histructor of the public, 
young or old, afford to be 7vithout such aids ? — Baltimore Methodist. 

Prof. George Adam Smith has such a mastery of the scholarship of his 
subject that it would be a sheer impertinence for most scholars, even though 
tolerable Hebraists, to criticise his translations , and certainly it is not the 
intention of the present reviewer to attempt anything of the kind, to do which 
he is absolutely incompetent. All we desire is to let English readers know 
how very lucid, ;impressive — and, indeed, how vivid — a study of Isaiah is 
within their reach ; the fault of the book, if it has a fault, being rather that it 
finds too many points of connection between Isaiah and our modern world, 
than that it finds too few. In other word.s, no one can say that the book is 
not full of life. — Spectator. 

It would be difficult to say how highly we appreciate the work, or how 
useful we believe it will be. — Church Bells. 

He writes with great rhetorical power, and brings out into vivid reality the 
historical position of his author. — Saturday Reinew. 

Mr. Smith gives us models of expositions; expositions for cultivated con- 
gregations, no doubt, but still expositions which may have been largely 
preached in church. They are full of matter, and show careful scholarship 
throughout. We can think of no commentary on Isaiah from which the 
preacher will obtain scholarly and trustworthy suggestions for his sermons so 
rapidly and so pleasantly as from this. — Record. 

The Book of the TwcIvc Prophcts 


In Two Volumes. Crown 8vo, cloth, $1.50 each. 

Vol. I. — Amos, Hosea and Micah. Seventh Edition, 

Vol. II. — Zephaniah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Obadiah, 

Haggai, Zechariah I. — VIII., *' Malachi," Joel, 

"Zechariah" IX. — XIV., AND Jonah. Fourth Edition. 

In Dr. Smith's volumes we have much more than a popular exposition of 
the minor Prophets. We have that which will satisfy the scholar and the stu- 
dent quite as much as the person who reads for pleasure and for edification. 
... If the minor Projihets do not become popular reading it is not because 
anything more can be done to make them attractive. Dr. Smith's volumes 
present this part of Scripture in what is at once the most attractive and the 
most profitable form. — Dk. Marcus Dons, in the British Weekly. 

Few interpreters of the Old Testament to-day rank higher than George 
Adam Smith. He is at home in criticism, in geographical and archaeological 
questions, and in philology. . . . Hardly any commentator of the present day 
is more successful than he in putting the student at once into the heart of an 
Old Testament problem. — .9. 5". 'limes. 

The above four rolutnes are eontaine<l in *' The 
Eoc2iositor*s JiiMe.*' and are subject to sjtecial sub- 
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A Practical Method of Using Scripture and Explanation 


Systematic Study of the Bible by Subjects, 


Readings Suited to Every Special Need, 


Ready Reference. 


Rev. J. P.THOMPSON, D.D., and Rev, C. H. SPURGEON, 






Illustrated with Steel Engravings and Maps. 

In placing the present work before the public, special mention 
should be made of the superior facilities here offered for making THE 
Scripture and familiar exposition in attroctive form for the reading and 
study of the Bible by subjects, it places the whole at instant comjnand by 
a new method of classification and indexing. 

The Biblical explanations represent an important part of the life 
studies of its distinguished authors, and indicate to some extent the 
character and magnitude of the work. Omitting the dry details of com- 
ment which have no spiritual significance, great prominence is given to 
the helpful lessons which are so full of inspiration to a better life. The 
work commends itself as furnishing an entirely practical method, by 
which families, as they gather at their own firesides, may accomplish 
a thorough course of Bible study, with some central subject of thought 
made prominent /7r each day. The means are thus at hand for renewing, 
in more effective form, the grand old custom, so honored and blessed of 
God in days past, of religious education in the home. These short, at- 
tractive readings — requiring but a very short time for each — are admir- 
ably adapted to the few minutes which every Christian family has already 
set apart for worship. 


A. C. ARMSTRONG & SON, New York. 





(M. E. Church.) 


"It is superior to any work of the 
same character which I have ever 

Rev. R. S. STORRS, D.D. 

(Cong., Brooklyn, N. Y.) 


(Cong., Chicago.) 


(Sen. Bishop M.E.Ch.) 


(Baptist, Philadelphia, Pa.) 



Rev. J. H. VINCENT, D.D. 

(Pres, Chautauqua Lit. and Sci. Circle.) 


(Baptist, Philadelphia, Pa.) 


(M. E. Church.) 


(M. E. Church.) 

" Family Worship will be en- 
riched and made more delightful 
by the use of it. " 
"It meets a real want and docs it 
admirably y 

" It is decidedly the best book of 
the kind I have seen. It must be 
of much value in the Sunday 
School as well as in the home." 
' ' After a good deal of personal 
use of this work, I give it my un- 
qualified approval." 
" I am delighted with the work, 
and cannot conceive of anything 
more complete and appropriate. 
God speed the good book on its 
mission of light and love." 
" I think this an invaluable home 

" I am thoroughly delighted with 
this work. It is rounded in con- 
ception and admirable in execu- 
tion ; a strong helper towards the 
true eternal home." 
•* This thoughtful, spiritual, script- 
aral work must tone up life on 
every side. It is a remarkable col- 
lection of spiritual stimulants and 
intellectual incitements." 
' ' I have used this work in my fam- 
ily for some time, and cheerfully 
give it my unqualified approval. 
It helps to a systematic study ot 
the Bible. Tliere is not a dull 
pa,^e in the bock, and I deem it 
especially adapted to the needs of 
the children in our families. I 
commend it most heartily and 
prayerfully to all 

A. C. 




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